Welcome to another week on Capitol Hill. There will be plenty to report on, especially in the veterans’ space.
Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie will testify before the Senate VA Committee on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. Wilkie will discuss implementation of the VA MISSION Act and the progress being made in rolling out the VA’s new Community Care Program.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this hearing. In order for the VA and Congress to truly put veterans first, the VA MISSION Act and Community Care Program must be implemented well. That includes establishing access standards that give veterans greater access to non-VA care.
Here’s what else you can expect to happen in Washington this week:
The House VA Committee will host a hearing on pending legislation Tuesday at 10 a.m. The economic opportunity subcommittee will review several bills aimed at assisting veterans in education, housing and employment after service.
In the defense world, committees will be talking budget requests as they have been the past several weeks. The House Armed Services Committee is reviewing the fiscal 2020 request from U.S. Special Operations Forces and Command on Tuesday at 2 p.m. On Wednesday at 10 a.m., the committee will hear testimony on the Navy’s budget request.
The Senate Armed Forces Committee will also hold hearings on the “Posture of the Department of the Navy” on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Later in the week they’ll discuss Air Force modernization efforts. They’ll end the week on Thursday at 11 a.m. with a hearing on establishment of the Space Force.
On the House floor, Congress will consider legislation from the Budget Committee to increase discretionary spending caps, which includes setting higher defense spending levels in fiscal year 2020.
The foreign policy committees are also discussing fiscal 2020 spending this week. The House Foreign Affairs Committee meets Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.to hear testimony on the proposed foreign assistance budget. On Wednesday at 9:15 p.m., the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will grill Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his funding needs for the State Department.