Congress: 2022 starts with leftover work from 2021

Leo Shane III, Both chambers of Congress return to Capitol Hill this week for the official start of 2022 legislative work, including a host of unresolved budget issues from last year.

Lawmakers have until mid-February to agree on a final budget for federal operations in fiscal 2022 (which began last October) or risk triggering a partial government shutdown. Negotiations on that work are expected to resume immediately.

Alongside that work, congressional committees will resume their oversight of various issues. For the military community, the most prominent one this week will be the House Armed Services Committee’s first public hearing on the ongoing water contamination issues with the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawaii.

Evidence of petroleum pollution was found in tap water for military housing on Joint Base Pearl Habor-Hickam in early December.

Since then, lawmakers and outside advocates have called for quicker action from lawmakers on the problem, including an order from the Hawaii governor’s office to immediately drain the strategic fuel reserves to prevent any future contamination.

Tuesday, Jan. 11

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Capitol security
Capitol Hill officials will testify on changes to security protocols since the Jan. 6 attack last year.

House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Red Hill fuel release
Navy officials will testify on current cleanup efforts with the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawaii.

House Oversight — 10 a.m. — 2154 Rayburn
Cybersecurity reform
Cybersecurity officials from an array of federal agencies will testify on current threats and challenges.

Senate Judiciary — 10 a.m. — 216 Dirksen
Domestic terrorism
Department of Justice officials will testify on the rise in domestic terrorism in recent years.

Wednesday, Jan. 12

Senate Foreign Relations — 9 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Nominations
The committee will consider a series of pending nominations, including Amy Gutmann to be U.S. ambassador to Germany.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Defense budget challenges
Service officials will testify on the financial impact of the ongoing budget extension on current operations.

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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