Congress returns to Capitol Hill this week with just three weeks left before the August recess and goals of advancing both the fiscal 2022 appropriations measures and annual defense authorization bill before the break.

Last week, Senate Armed Services Committee officials announced plans to mark up their draft of the authorization bill starting on July 19, with the goal of completing work by July 22.

The House Armed Services Committee is set to take up their subcommittee drafts a week later, but aren’t planning on finalizing that work until after the break, on Sept. 1.

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee — which has already advanced several budget bills — plans to mark up its draft of the defense budget on Tuesday. House Democratic leaders have said they hope to pass the budget measures out of the full House before August, in an effort to speed up budget negotiations with the Senate later this fall.

Tuesday, July 13

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — 106 Dirksen
Nominations
The committee will consider five nominations, including Carlos Del Toro to be Navy Secretary and Gilbert Cisneros Jr. to be Under Secretary of Defense for personnel.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — 1100 Longworth
Defense/Homeland Security appropriations
The full committee will mark up its draft of the FY22 defense and homeland security spending plan.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Appeals modernization
VA officials will testify on changes to the disability benefits appeals process.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Nominations
The committee will consider four nominations, including Gentry Smith to be assistant secretary of state.

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing
VA police force
VA officials will testify on reforms to the department’s police force.

House Armed Services — 3 p.m. — online hearing
Fixed-wing tactical aircraft
Defense aviation officials will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request for fixed-wing tactical and training aircraft programs.

Wednesday, July 14

Senate Homeland Security — 9:15 a.m. — 342 Dirksen
Pending legislation
The committee will consider several pieces of pending legislation.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10:30 a.m. — 216 Hart
USAID Budget
USAID Administrator Samantha Power will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing
USAID Budget
USAID Administrator Samantha Power will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request.

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing
Pending legislation
The subcommittee on health will consider 10 measures, including the “Build a Better VA” Act.

Senate Veterans' Affairs — 3:30 p.m. — 418 Russell
Electronic health records
VA officials will testify on progress and challenges with the electronic medical records modernization plan.

House Armed Services — 4 p.m. — online hearing
Military construction
Defense officials will testify on the fiscal 2022 military construction budget request.

Thursday, July 15

Senate Homeland Security — 10:15 a.m. — 342 Dirksen
Nominations
The committee will consider two nominations, including Ed Gonzalez to be Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

House Homeland Security — 12 p.m. — online hearing
DHS reforms
Outside experts will testify on potential reforms to the Department of Homeland Security.

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.

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