The hearing comes the week after Obama said he would work with lawmakers on a new Authorization for Use of Military Force for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Syria. Some, including Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., have said a vote on a new AUMF should be held next year to allow newly elected members to weigh in.
On Thursday morning, the House Financial Services Committee will use a hearing to dig into ISIS's finances. The terrorist group reportedly brings in millions each day, and lawmakers want to know where the funds are coming from.
And House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, will discuss at a Council on Cybersecurity event Thursday evening how the group and foreign fighters threaten the United States.
The Veterans Affairs Department is also back under the spotlight. Members of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee are holding a hearing Thursday to assess how well the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act has been implemented.
Lawmakers passed the legislation before they left town at the end of July. The bill increased department funding, and it allowed for clinicians to be hired and for the VA to increase its number of clinics. But since then, some lawmakers and veterans advocacy groups have criticized VA Secretary Bob McDonald for what they say is a hesitation to fire those involved in the department's data-manipulation scandal.
The Federal Communications Commission will begin to auction off the rights to a valuable block of airwaves, known as "AWS-3," on Thursday. Cell-phone carriers are expected to spend billions of dollars for the airwaves, which will make their networks faster. The government plans to use the auction proceeds to build a nationwide communications network for first responders.
The federal government's Ebola response will be in the spotlight as Congress returns this week. The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on U.S. efforts to address the outbreak, with witnesses including Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, CDC Director Thomas Frieden, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci. The Obama administration has requested about $6.2 billion in funding from Congress—including $4.64 billion for immediate response and $1.54 billion in contingency funding—to be used for domestic preparedness and to fight the epidemic in West Africa. Officials say the funding is crucial and urgent, and remain optimistic that a deal will be struck with lawmakers during the lame-duck session.
Obama gets far away from all the bad political news this week, traveling to China, Myanmar, and Australia for four summits and meetings with allies and other Asian leaders. Monday and Tuesday he will be in Beijing, attending the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and meeting with President Xi Jinping. Wednesday, he goes to Myanmar, site of two summits—the East Asia Summit and the annual U.S.-ASEAN summit. He also will meet with Myanmar President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. From there, he will go to Brisbane, Australia, on Saturday. He will spend two days there, attending the G-20 summit and delivering a major speech on Asia policy.
Jordain Carney, Dustin Volz, Sophie Novack, Clare Foran, and George E. Condon Jr. contributed to this article