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sen. barbara mikulski

Dems Counterattack On McCain’s $18B For ‘Readiness’

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The battle lines were drawn today between Republicans and Democrats over the $18 billion Sen. John McCain wants to add to the defense budget in an amendment to the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. You want it? Then add a matching $18 billion to domestic spending, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the powerhouse appropriator countered today… Keep reading →

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Troubled SAC OKs $500M For Syrian Rebels

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: After bitter debate, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 21 to 9 to approve the administration’s request for $500 million in training and weapons for “vetted” Syrian rebel fighters. Now the annual defense spending bill and supplemental Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding pass to the Senate floor, largely unchanged from what SAC’s defense subcommittee… Keep reading →

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SAC To Budgeteers: Stop Sequestration, Avoid Another Shutdown

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: “That’s a real softball question, so I’ll try to knock it out of the park,” the witness told the senator. There’s a scripted quality to many legislative hearings, but it’s rare to hear the actors break character and admit they’re in a play. The exchange above actually happened, between Rockford, Ill. mayor Larry… Keep reading →

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Syria, Sequester, & Mists Of Unreality At Senate Appropriations Mark-Up

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Fireworks over the US Capitol Dome in Washington, DC.

CAPITOL HILL: Syria and sequestration dominated today’s Senate Appropriations Committee’s mark-up of the $594 billion defense spending bill for fiscal year 2014, but there was little actual progress on either. Appropriators are historically the most hard-nosed legislators; they’re the committees that have to match congressional rhetoric with actual money. But today, the appropriators approved a… Keep reading →

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Sen. Mikulski Blames House For ‘New Normal’ Sequester Deadlock

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


One of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate blamed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives for Washington’s inability to fix the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. “They assume sequester is the new normal,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, chair of the almost all-powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, sitting in on a meeting of SAC’s defense subcommittee… Keep reading →

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Navy’s Ray Mabus: ‘Sequestration Looms Over Everything’ On Shipbuilding

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Sequestration is not the Navy’s only shipbuilding problem. In the near term, the automatic cuts to the 2013 budget are bedeviling efforts to save money by buying ships in bulk. Negotiators are racing the clock to salvage a multi-year procurement contract to buy 10 DDG-51 Aegis destroyers for the price of nine; Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told reporters today he was “optimistic.”

In the longer term, however, after the 10-year, $500 billion cut in defense spending required by sequestration, the Navy has dug a different hole for itself. The service has crafted a 30-year shipbuilding plan that requires massive increases in funding to levels that the Navy’s acquisition chief Sean Stackley admitted to Congress had not been seen since the Reagan build-up.

“Can you present… a scintilla of evidence” that the 30-year plan can be funded, an exasperated Rep. Randy Forbes, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s panel on seapower, asked during a hearing this morning. 

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Sen. Inouye Dies; Who Will Replace War Hero Chairman In Dual Appropriations Roles?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Daniel Inouye is dead. Who will succeed him? Well, it might be a “she.” It is callous, even ghoulish, that we media have started speculating on who will succeed one of the nation’s most respected Senators within four hours of his death, but that’s Washington for you. As the condolences and eulogies pour in… Keep reading →

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