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This Week on the Hill: Big VA News and Moves on Syria

The Hill Capitol Building in Shadows

By Concerned Veterans for America

Welcome to February, a short month packed with plenty of activity on Capitol Hill.

The big news this week will likely come from President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. The address was originally scheduled for last week but was postponed due to the partial government shutdown.

Speaking of a government shutdown, another one looms if Congress can’t make a spending deal in the next two weeks. Members are still unable to compromise on a border wall and broader security funding.

Elsewhere, here’s what’s happening in veteran and military news:

Veterans Affairs

Both the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees have yet to hold any oversight hearings this Congress. Organizing new members and setting agendas has been a bigger priority.

The biggest news from the Department of Veterans Affairs is the release of proposed access standards under the VA MISSION Act. These new standards would provide veterans with more options for where they seek their medical care, whether from a VA facility or a non-VA provider. Be a part of the process by letting your lawmakers know that you support these access standards and more options for veterans’ health care.

Armed Services

The Senate and House Armed Services committees will meet this week on similar topics. At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Senate members will hear from the Director of National Intelligence and the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency on worldwide threats.

At the same time, the House Armed Services Committee will hear from Defense Department officials on the Pentagon’s approach to counterterrorism operations.

Foreign Affairs

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will meet on Wednesday to discuss U.S. policy in the Arabian Peninsula. Congress is also discussing U.S. policy in Syria weeks after President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw troops from Syria. Last week, the Senate voted on an amendment in response to President Trump’s plans to withdraw troops from Syria. The vote sets the stage for ongoing debate surrounding President Trump’s efforts to move troops out of Syria and likely Afghanistan.

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