This week in Congress: Revisiting Afghanistan

This week in Congress: Revisiting Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with lawmakers behind closed doors this week to answer questions about the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan last summer.

The meeting was originally scheduled for earlier in January, but has been postponed several times because of scheduling issues with Congress. Members of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee are expected to attend.

Austin previously appeared before the armed services panel last fall to answer questions about the withdrawal operation, but senators said questions remain about the decision to remove all troops from the country and the rise of terrorist groups in the months since.

Congressional leaders have pledged to continue hearings on many aspects of the Afghanistan mission in coming months, with an eye towards learning from mistakes made so as to avoid them in the future.

Tuesday, Feb. 1

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

Sudan

State Department officials will testify on the current security situation in Sudan.

Senate Homeland Security — 10:15 a.m. — 342 Dirksen

Nominations

The committee will consider several nominations, including Shalanda Young to be director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Wednesday, Feb. 2

Senate Armed Services — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center S200

Closed briefing

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will deliver a classified briefing on Afghanistan to members of several committees in a closed session.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

Jobs for veterans

Department officials will testify on efforts to help veterans get high-demand jobs after their military service.

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

Terrorism

Outside experts will testify on global terrorist threats and U.S. strategic response.

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

North Africa

Outside experts will testify on the security situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing

Health legislation

The committee will mark up several veterans health care measures.

Thursday, Feb. 3

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

Veterans Centers

Department officials will testify on services provided by veterans centers and plans for future expansion.

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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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.