Affleck, 40, is the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, a humanitarian group that provides funding for local leaders and organizations in the eastern Congo. At one point, the Academy Award winner took a breath from speed-reading through his remarks, and noted with a smile, “I’m rushing to try to get through the five minutes, which I think I passed about 15 minutes ago.”

The Armed Services Committee Chairman, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) seemed to sympathize with Affleck, saying he’s not a fan of limiting expert testimony to five minutes: “I prefer sitting around the coffee table and discussing to get really to the point of the matter. But it is what it is and we’ll deal with it.”

Affleck, who has long been the center of chatter over a possible run for public office, also made a prediction about the upcoming “fiscal cliff.” When asked by McKeon what he would do if sequestration wasn’t part of the picture and he could wave a magic wand and get funding, Affleck replied, “First of all, I’m not sure that the sequestration is going to hit. We have to plan for success.”

Photo: Gabriella Demczuk