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Breaking Defense

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House of Representatives

2019 Forecast: Budget Battles & Confirmation Wars

Posted by Mark Cancian on


Trump’s pick to replace Sec. Jim Mattis will be a key indicator about where the president wants to drive the department — and the confirmation process will show what the Senate will accept — while the defense budget may be collateral damage from a bitterly divided Congress.

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Defense Bill Closer, But Risks Remain

Posted by Paul McLeary on


Thursday’s overwhelming Senate vote to pass the bill clears a major hurdle in getting the budget passed on time. But Not only do the House and Senate have little time to knock out final appropriations language and vote on it, but President Trump has signaled he wouldn’t be opposed to a government shutdown this fall, which would bring everything to a grinding halt.

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The US Needs A ‘Coast Guard’ For Space: Semper Paratus Exteriores Spatium

Posted by Michael Sinclair on


A battle has been underway for several years now over who will become the FAA of space and how they will do the job. Some wanted the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Tranportation, which boasts the great acronym, FAST. Some wanted NOAA or NASA. Most did not want the Air Force, which has had a… Keep reading →

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Trouble For Trump: Fixing Sequester, DoD Budget May Be A ‘Bloodbath’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


SIMI VALLEY, CALIF.: “I don’t how we buy it back without a real bloodbath,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham. “It” is the $500 billion, 10-year cut to defense spending imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011, popularly (mis)called sequestration. Graham, one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics in the GOP, is not alone in thinking the… Keep reading →

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NDAA Veto Override Vote In Doubt; CR Deadline Looms

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED 4:40 pm with Bob Work comments WASHINGTON: The budget deal saved the day for defense. Now let’s never do that again. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 bought two precious years of stability, House Armed Services chairman Mac Thornberry and Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said today at the Defense One summit, but it hurt like… Keep reading →

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House Divided: Budget Deal Passes, But HASC Leaders Split

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED Deal passed, Forbes voted “no” WASHINGTON: With hours to go before the House vote on the budget deal — assuming it doesn’t get derailed — the Republican caucus is deeply divided. A central selling point is the deal ups the defense budget, but one leading legislator on national security issues, House seapower subcommittee chairman Rep.… Keep reading →

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Budget Deal Saves The Day For Defense – If It Passes

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The budget deal announced late last night is unmixed good news for the Defense Department, our sources say — for a year, at least, and if it actually passes the ever-more-erratic House of Representatives. “This ‘October Surprise’ is a better deal for defense than I expected,” said one of Washington’s leading budget experts, Todd… Keep reading →

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The Price of Delay: US Navy To Challenge Chinese Claims

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED 9:45 am Tuesday with details of operation & Chinese response WASHINGTON: After five months of hints, declarations, mixed messages, and dithering, the US is reportedly set to challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea. But the months of signaling will cost us. What might have been a low-key “freedom of navigation operation” — sailing,… Keep reading →

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McCarthy’s Exit: Budget Deal Or Disaster?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Updated with Loren Thompson & Byron Callan comment WASHINGTON: Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s sudden exit from the House Speaker race raises the chance of a fiscal disaster — but it also raises the odds of a desperate budget deal. Both extremes just got more likely. Ironically, this deepening leadership void elevates the role of Rep. John… Keep reading →

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Pope Leaves, Boehner Resigns, Shutdown Looms…

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Speaker John Boehner, that always-tanned, often crying fellow who has led House Republicans since 2010, appears to have given up after new challenges from fiscal radicals in the Republican Party and announced his resignation this morning. Boehner, a Catholic, campaigned for 20 years to bring a Pope to Congress. Yesterday he got his wish and… Keep reading →

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