This week in Congress: A new deputy defense secretary, and lingering Fort Hood concerns

this-week-in-congress:-a-new-deputy-defense-secretary,-and-lingering-fort-hood-concerns

As many congressional committees hold their first organizational meetings this week, Senate Armed Services officials will continue their already-started work of the new session with a pair of significant events for the military community.

On Thursday, the committee will hold a closed briefing on the Fort Hood command climate survey, with an eye towards reforms at that base and throughout the Army. The base was the site of several high-profile tragedies last year, including the killing of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen last April.

In their public work, the committee on Tuesday will consider the nomination of Kathleen Hicks to become the next deputy defense secretary. If approved, she would be the first woman ever to be voted into the post.

Also on Tuesday on the Senate side of Capitol Hill, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee is expected to vote on the nomination of Denis McDonough to become the next Veterans Affairs secretary. His confirmation hearing was held last week, without any notable concerns from lawmakers. An exact time and location for that hearing has not yet been announced.

Tuesday, Feb. 2

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — Dirksen G50

Nominations

The committee will consider the nomination of Kathleen Hicks to serve as deputy defense secretary.

Wednesday, Feb. 3

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 106 Dirksen

Committee organization

The committee will meet to establish rules and procedures for the upcoming session.

House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn

Committee organization

The committee will meet to establish rules and procedures for the upcoming session.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing

Committee organization

The committee will meet to establish rules and procedures for the upcoming session.

Thursday, Feb. 4

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 325 Russell

Pending business

Committee members will discuss unfinished business from last session.

House Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — online hearing

Domestic terrorism

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security and private sector security firms will testify on domestic terrorism threats and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building.

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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