Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats Announce Schedule Of Oversight Hearings

Washington, DC—The Senate Democratic Leadership today announced a schedule of hearings in coming weeks examining important policy questions related to the Administration’s Iraq strategy. 

Democrats are continuing to fight for a change of course in Iraq because we know America cannot afford the many costs of this endless war.  Its price tag has passed $600 billion as our commitment in Iraq limits our ability to address deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, our military readiness is at its lowest in a generation, and Al Qaeda only grows stronger.

“In the coming weeks, we will be examining a number of important, related national-security trends through hearings and legislation because the impacts of this war stretch far beyond Iraq’s borders,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.  “After years of inaction and obstruction, Republicans have said they are finally willing to debate and try to defend their position on Iraq –and over the coming weeks we will give them the chance to do just that.  We believe these hearings will reveal the devastating consequences of President Bush’s refusal to change course.”

As Congress debates key questions related to the way forward in Iraq, Senate Democrats will fight to pass legislation that addresses, and hold hearings to examine, a number of important, related national security trends, including worldwide threats, military readiness, the increasing costs of the war, the loss of our moral leadership and the waste, fraud and abuse of the billions of dollars spent in Iraq.

The preliminary schedule follows:

February 26

  • Hearing with Army Chief of Staff General George Casey and Army Secretary Pete Geren (Senate Armed Services Committee)

February 27

  • Hearing with Army Chief of Staff General George Casey and Army Secretary Pete Geren (Senate Appropriations Committee)
  • Hearing on worldwide threats with Director of National Intelligence McConnell and DIA Director Maples (Senate Armed Services Committee)
  • Hearing on defense personnel issues with Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness David Chu (Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee)
  • Hearing on U.S. use of private security firms overseas (Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee)

February 28

  • Hearing with Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway (Senate Armed Services Committee)
  • Hearing on Pakistan with Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte (Senate Foreign Relations Committee)
  • Hearing on the increasing costs of the war (Joint Economic Committee)

March 4

  • Hearing with Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne  and Air Force Chief of Staff General T. Michael Mosely (Senate Armed Services Committee)

March 5

  • Hearing with the Secretary of the Air Force (Senate Armed Services Committee)
  • Hearing on “smart power” with Retired Gen. Anthony Zinni and Ret. Adm. Leighton Smith (Senate Foreign Relations Committee)

March 6

  • Hearing on Southern Command and Northern Command with Admiral James G. Stavridis and General Gene Renuart (Senate Armed Services Committee)

March 11

  • Hearing on waste, fraud and abuse of billions of dollars spent in Iraq (Senate Appropriations Committee)
  • Hearing on Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea with Admiral Timothy J. Keating and General Burwell B. Bell III (Senate Armed Services Committee)
  • Hearing on NATO expansion (Senate Foreign Relations Committee)

March 12/13

  • Hearings on weapons of mass destruction and cooperative threat-reduction programs (Senate Armed Services Committee)
  • Hearing on military readiness with the Vice Chiefs of the military services (Senate Armed Services Committee)
  • Hearing on European Command and Africa Command with General Bantz J. Craddock and General William E. Ward (Senate Armed Services Committee)

The Senate Intelligence Committee also will hold closed hearings in the coming weeks on the current situation in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and terrorist safe havens. 

Additional hearings scheduled in April will include those with:

  • field commanders and diplomats in Iraq;
  • other expert witnesses on Middle East issues; and
  • defense and foreign relations experts.