A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in eastern Ukraine on Feb. 15. (Vadim Ghirda/AP)
Chamber leaders have scheduled an all-Senate briefing this week to update lawmakers on the latest U.S. assistance plans for Ukraine, the first such comprehensive review since the early days of the fighting.
Senate officials announced the event will be held behind closed doors on Wednesday afternoon. The move follows Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska’s speech to Congress last week, where she requested more weapons — particularly air defense systems — to support her country in its fight against Russia.
U.S. lawmakers in May approved a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, about half which was military assistance. But Ukrainian leaders said they need more to hold off slowly advancing Russian forces, and to secure areas devastated by months of fighting.
Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that U.S. assistance “is making a real difference on the ground” in Ukraine and that officials would work “to ensure that Ukraine has the technology, the ammunition, and the sheer firepower to defend itself.”
Monday, July 25
House Veterans' Affairs — 11 a.m. — Enterprise, Ala. Military to civilian transition
Committee members will hold a field hearing on transition challenges for troops leaving the military.
Tuesday, July 26
Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 419 Dirksen Diversity in diplomacy
State Department officials will testify on efforts to improve diversity in diplomatic programs and efforts.
Wednesday, July 27
Senate Foreign Relations — 9:30 a.m. — 419 Dirksen National security
State Department officials will testify on national security and economic security strategies.
House Transportation — 10 a.m. — 2167 Rayburn Coast Guard personnel
Service officials will testify on planned changes to Coast Guard personnel policies.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Electronic health records
VA officials will testify on ongoing problems with their electronic medical records overhaul project.
Senate Foreign Relations — 11:30 a.m. — 419 Dirksen Nominations
The committee will consider several pending nominations, including Jonathan Henick to be ambassador to Uzbekistan.
Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — 419 Dirksen Africa
State Department officials will testify on planned assistance to African countries in the fiscal 2023 budget request.
Senate Veterans' Affairs — 3 p.m. — 418 Russell Nominations
The committee will consider several pending nominations.
Thursday, July 28
House Foreign Affairs — 9:30 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn Indo-Pacific issues
Outside experts will testify on Chinese coercion in the Indo-Pacific region.
Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen Nominations
The committee will consider several pending nominations, including Milancy Harris to be deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Sexual harassment
Veterans Affairs officials will testify on efforts to prevent sexual harassment at department facilities.
Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 419 Dirksen Nominations
The committee will consider several pending nominations, including Heide Fulton to be ambassador to Uruguay.
House Foreign Affairs — 12:30 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn Business meeting
The committee will mark up several pending measures.
Senate Foreign Relations — 2 p.m. — 419 Dirksen Nominations
The committee will consider several pending nominations, including Shefali Razdan Duggal to be ambassador to the Netherlands.
Friday, July 29
House Armed Services — 8:30 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn Reproductive health
Defense Department officials will testify on available reproductive health services in the military and their effect on readiness.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.
Labor shortfalls rooted in the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic remain a millstone around the neck of the defense industry, forcing firms to juggle staff, hold job fairs and find workarounds to keep operations running as smoothly as possible.