The aide said the House gets the first chance to question Hagel this year because the two committees alternate, and the Senate had the first budget hearing with then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Dempsey in 2012.
Next week's hearing with Hagel will take on added significance as it will be his first time appearing before Congress since he went through a contentious confirmation process — and a difficult confirmation hearing — earlier this year.
Both of the panels’ hearings will be taking place two months later this year, as the president’s budget request is being submitted to Congress more than two months late.
The Defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs typically start the budget posture hearings for the four defense committees. This year, however, the Armed Services panels have started instead with the combatant commanders in order to deal with the late budget.
— This story was updated at 3:09 p.m.