Congress’ to-do list adds budget request for Israel, Ukraine

Lawmakers will start informal work on the White House’s $105 billion supplemental for Ukraine and Israel this week, but formal passage of any budget bill will likely drag on for weeks as leadership issues in the House continue to snarl all legislative business there.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden previewed the plan in a national speech, emphasizing the need for the United States to support both countries. The spending package has already met mixed reaction on Capitol Hill, with Senate Republicans saying they have concerns about the scope and focus of the money.

But the only likely work to be done on the issue in the near future — and a host of other outstanding appropriations work — are those public discussions. The House cannot vote on any major legislation until the ongoing speaker fight is resolved. The Senate is currently trying to advance a separate series of federal spending bills, but no consensus has been reached yet.

White House officials said they are hoping for action on the supplemental spending as soon as possible, and certainly before the Nov. 17 deadline for when current government funding runs out. If a government-wide spending deal can’t be reached by then, the funding lapse will trigger a partial government shutdown, furloughing hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

Tuesday, Oct. 24

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 419 Dirksen
West Africa Instability
State Department officials will testify on the current security situation in West Africa.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10:30 a.m. — 360 Cannon
Pending Legislation
The subcommittee on disability assistance will consider several pending bills.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210
State and Defense Department officials will testify on U.S. support to Israel.

Wednesday, Oct. 25

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — Capitol S-116
The committee will consider the nomination of Jacob Lew to be U.S. ambassador to Israel.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10:15 a.m. — 360 Cannon
Veteran Employment
Veterans Affairs officials will testify on veteran employment assistance programs and job opportunities.

Senate Homeland Security — 10:30 a.m. — 562 Dirksen
Pending Legislation
The committee will consider several pending bills.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2200 Rayburn
State Department officials will testify on U.S. relations with Honduras.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2 p.m. — 419 Dirksen
Black Sea Region Security
State Department officials will testify on the current security situation in the Black Sea region.

House Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Submarine Industrial Base
Officials from the Navy and Defense Department will testify on the submarine industrial base to meet the strategic objectives of the AUKUS partnership.

Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 3:30 p.m. — 418 Russell
VA Accountability
Department officials will testify on accountability and transparency in VA care.

Thursday, Oct. 26

House Financial Services — 9 a.m. — 2128 Rayburn
State Department officials will testify on sanctions and other penalties designed to limit Iran’s support for terrorist groups.

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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