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.
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.