Now that election season has come to an end, it’s time for Congress to return to Washington and get back to work. Tuesday’s results mean big changes on the Hill, especially for the House after Democrats won back the majority.
Leadership changes are already underway. Rep. Kevin McCarthy has started his bid for House minority leader, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi looks to reclaim her seat as Speaker of the House. Committee leadership decisions are in the early stages of discussion, with members moving around to new assignments.
What does all that mean for veterans? Here’s what to look for this week on the Hill.
The House Veterans Affairs Committee will be under new management when the 116thCongress convenes. Current ranking member Tim Walz will leave Congress to serve as Minnesota governor, leaving the HVAC chairman spot open. New committee assignments will be decided in the next few weeks, determining the new membership and leadership of HVAC.
In the meantime, current Chairman Phil Roe is wasting no time getting back to important business. He scheduled three meetings for this week, two on Wednesday and one on Thursday.
- On Nov. 14 at 10 a.m., the Technology Modernization Subcommittee will commence its 180-day review of the Electronic Health Records Modernization Program. This oversight hearing will examine a new report on the DOD’s Electronic Health Record Modernization progress as a baseline for the VA’s modernization efforts.
- At 2 p.m., the Economic Opportunity Subcommittee will address delayed GI Bill payments to student veterans.
- On Nov. 15 at 2 p.m., the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee will look into the VA’s oversight of disability examinations.
Department of Defense
Big news from the Pentagon: The Defense Department will release its first audit report Nov. 15 or 16. The department has never completed a full audit, even though it holds more than $2.4 trillion in assets.
Over the summer, the Senate approved a $716 billion budget for fiscal year 2019. That is an increase of more than $100 billion over 15 years. Audit findings are sure to bring on questions about how the Pentagon is spending its money and where changes can be made to budgeting.
Stay up to date with the latest veterans’ news right here on The Overwatch.