Congressional committees will press on with work on defense and veterans issues this week despite the leadership uncertainty in the House and looming budget deadline approaching next month.

In response to the ongoing turmoil in Israel, Senate Foreign Relations leaders will hold a confirmation hearing for Jacob Lew, President Joe Biden’s pick to be the U.S. ambassador there. House Homeland Security officials have also scheduled a hearing on Iranian support for terrorism and possible links to the violence in Israel.

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a rare joint hearing on the issue of military to civilian transition, hearing from military officials, Veterans Affairs leaders and outside advocacy groups on how to better prepare troops as they leave the ranks.

Whether some or all of the scheduled hearings will be disrupted by House organizational work remains to be seen. The full chamber is limited in what legislation and actions it can consider until a new House speaker is selected.

Both the House and Senate have until Nov. 17 to reach a short-term or full-year budget deal, work that has been complicated by the lack of clear leadership among House Republicans. If a budget compromise can’t be reached, it will trigger a partial government shutdown which could furlough millions of government workers and shutter federal services.

Wednesday, Oct. 18

House Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — 310 Cannon
Outside experts will testify on threats posed to the United States by Iran.

Senate Veterans' Affairs and Armed Services — 10 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Military to Civilian Transition
Veterans Affairs officials and Defense Department leaders will testify on military transition initiatives.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210
Outside experts will testify on proposals to transfer Russian assets to Ukraine in an effort to aid with Ukrainian self-defense efforts.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10:30 a.m. — 419 Dirksen
The committee will consider the nomination of Jacob Lew to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

House Veterans' Affairs — 3 p.m. — 360 Cannon
Pending Legislation
The subcommittee on economic opportunity will consider several pending measures.

Thursday, Oct. 19

House Armed Services — 9 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Defense Department Replicator Program
Outside experts will testify on the department’s new replicator program.

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
U.S. Strategic Posture Report
Leaders from the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States will present their findings to committee members.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 419 Dirksen
The committee will consider a series of pending nominations.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — 360 Cannon
Department officials will testify on whistleblower protection and employee accountability issues.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210
Pending Legislation
The committee will consider several pending bills.

House Veterans' Affairs — 1:30 p.m. — 360 Cannon
Suicide Prevention
Outside experts will testify on veteran suicide prevention efforts.

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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