This week in Congress: Controversial defense nominee faces scrutiny

this-week-in-congress:-controversial-defense-nominee-faces-scrutiny

House lawmakers will debate defense appropriations legislation on the chamber floor this week, but the majority of military headlines on Capitol Hill will likely surround the confirmation hearing of Anthony Tata, the controversial nominee for the Defense Department’s top policy post.

Tata, a retired Army brigadier general, has had to walk back a series of conspiratorial and controversial tweets since his nomination, including one calling President Barack Obama “a terrorist leader” and another accusing the CIA of wanting to overthrow Trump.

The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold an open hearing on his nomination Thursday but also a closed session to discuss problems surrounding his path to confirmation on Tuesday.

Numerous committee Democrats have already come out against the nomination, but Tata could still advance to the Senate floor just on Republican backing.

Tuesday, July 28

House Natural Resources — 10 a.m. — 1324 Longworth

Lafayette Squares Protests

Outside groups will testify on federal response to protests outside the White House last month, to include military personnel involvement.

Senate Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 106 Dirksen

Nominations

The committee will consider the nominations of Air Force Lt. Gen. Glen VanHerck to be head of U.S. Northern Command and Army Lt. Gen. James Dickinson to be head of U.S. Space Command.

Wednesday, July 29

Senate Foreign Relations — 9 a.m. — 325 Russell

Nominations

The committee will consider a series of ambassador and State Department nominations.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — H210 Visitors Center

State veterans homes

Veterans groups will testify on how state veterans homes reacted to the coronavirus pandemic and possible improvements for the future.

House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn

Fort Hood

Advocates will testify on personnel problems at Fort Hood, to include sexual harassment claims made by women service members.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn

State Department Diversity

State Department officials will testify on agency efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.

Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 3 p.m. — G-50 Dirksen

VA telehealth

Department officials will testify on the expansion of telehealth services for veterans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, July 30

Senate Foreign Relations — 8:45 a.m. — 106 Dirksen

State Department Budget

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will testify before the committee on the administration’s budget request for his department for fiscal 2021.

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen

Nominations

The committee will consider the nominations of Anthony Tata to be undersecretary of defense for policy.

House Armed Services — 1 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn

Cyberspace Solarium Commission

The committee will review recommendations from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.

House Foreign Affairs — 1 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn

Africa coronavirus response

State Department officials will testify on African governments’ response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

About

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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