Honorable Few – Capt. J.J. Harris

Marine Corps League Detachment #1302

Tight congressional calendar squeezes lawmakers’ defense work

The Senate has already left Capitol Hill for its Independence Day break, but House lawmakers will be back in Washington, D.C., this week for a blitz of work before the holiday.

Upon their return in mid-July, however, all members of Congress will feel the legislative time crunch as they confront a long list of tasks and a tight summer schedule ahead.

Both chambers are set to reconvene July 8, break one week later for the Republican National Convention, and then work for two more weeks before recessing for the summer. That’s only three weeks of legislative work between July 1 and early September.

Unfinished business includes a full Senate vote on the annual defense authorization bill, a full Senate vote on Veterans Affairs funding for fiscal year 2025 and votes in both chambers on the annual military appropriations measures. The hope is to finish all three by Sept. 30, although that goal may be overly ambitious given the limited schedule ahead.

Congressional staff are expected to negotiate all three measures behind the scenes in the coming months, though final votes may wait until after the November elections.

Wednesday, June 26

House Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — 310 Cannon
Cyber Workforce Gap
Outside experts will testify on the need to recruit more cyber specialists for key security roles.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10:15 a.m. — 360 Cannon
Benefits Claims Systems
Department officials will testify on shortfalls with the Veterans Benefits Claims Management System.

House Homeland Security — 2 p.m. — 310 Cannon
Intelligence/Analysis Oversight
Department of Homeland Security officials will testify on operations of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

House Oversight — 2 p.m. — 2154 Rayburn
DOD Background Checks
Military officials will testify on ongoing problems with the department’s background check system.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Europe Operations
State Department officials will testify on European operations and challenges ahead.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 2:15 p.m. — 360 Cannon
VA Health Care Network
Department officials will testify on the structure of VA’s health care network.

Thursday, June 27

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10:30 a.m. — 360 Cannon
Reducing Veteran Homelessness
Department officials and outside experts will testify on new approaches to help homeless veterans.

House Foreign Affairs — 1 p.m. — 2200 Rayburn
Indo-Pacific Competition
State Department officials will testify on challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Central America
State Department officials will testify on the rise of socialism in Central America.