This week in Congress: Last days for the 116th session

Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill from their Thanksgiving break for what may be the last committee meetings of the year and their last full week of work for the 116th session of Congress.

House Democratic leaders have already signaled they intend to break for the year if they can complete their work in the next two weeks. The Senate is scheduled to recess one week later, though that schedule could change too.

Before they leave, however, lawmakers face a long list of work to be completed, including passing a budget extension to stave off a partial government shutdown later this month, finalizing the annual defense authorization bill (which President Donald Trump has threatened to veto over military base renaming issues), and potentially passing a new round of pandemic relief funding.

The 117th session of Congress is scheduled to be seated on Jan. 3, about three weeks before the inauguration of Joe Biden as the next president.

Wednesday, Dec. 2

Senate Armed Services — 9:15 a.m. — Dirksen G-50

Navy/Marine Corps Readiness

Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday, and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger will testify before the committee on readiness issues.

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

VA health care eligibility

The committee will review rules concerning veterans’ eligibility for health care services at the department, and also approve their report on veterans cyber security issues.

Senate Homeland Security — 2:30 p.m. — Dirksen 342

Cybersecurity during the pandemic

Federal officials will testify on state and local cybersecurity challenges resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.

Thursday, Dec. 3

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

Military Aviation Safety

Members of the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety will testify on their findings.

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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