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This Week on the Hill: Stopping Another Shutdown and The Future of the VA

After several weeks of organization and orientation, the 116th Congress is finally up and running at full speed. Last week, President Donald Trump gave his second State of the Union speech, addressing the need to continue supporting reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He also highlighted efforts to stop “endless wars” by removing troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

Following the State of the Union, both the House and Senate have full dockets. The funding that ended the partial government shutdown two weeks ago runs out at the end of this week, so Congress is still working toward an agreement to fund the rest of the government. Whether that agreement includes money for a border wall and increased security remains to be seen.

Even outside of immigration and funding talks, it’s going to be a busy week in Washington. Here’s what’s on the schedule this week for veterans and the military.

Veterans Affairs

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold its first formal organization meeting on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. That meeting will set the stage for a hearing to immediately follow on what’s in store for the future of the VA. Members will likely discuss the usual topics at that meeting – health care, benefits, changing demographics and modernization of facilities and records.

The House Appropriations Committee will also dive into some veterans’ issues on Wednesday at 2 p.m. The Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies will meet to discuss health care challenges faced by veterans, especially older veterans in long-term care. The same subcommittee will also hear from the VA Office of Inspector General Michael Missal on Thursday at 10 a.m.

Armed Services

In defense news, the Pentagon and Congress are working through parts of the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill. The Senate Armed Services Committee has …read more

Read more here:: Concerned Veterans for America

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