republicans

Chinese artificial island landing strip

CAPITOL HILL: Adm. John Richardson sailed through his Senate confirmation hearing this morning. But two ominous issues breached the surface, hinting at growing conflict between the administration and Hill Republicans over how to handle China. Richardson, an experienced submariner nominated for Chief of Naval Operations, deftly dodged the difficult questions from Senate Armed Services Committee: Does US-China… Keep reading →

John McCain

UPDATED with Thornberry response CAPITOL HILL: The $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 passed the Senate by a vote of 71 to 25 today. The final version could emerge from a House-Senate conference in “early July,” Senate Armed Services chairman Jon McCain said boldly at a press conference this afternoon. That would be… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain

CAPITOL HILL: Two chairmen, two very different personalities, two different approaches to one goal: fixing Pentagon procurement. Now their bills are heading towards what may be a happy marriage or an ugly collision. On the south side of Capitol Hill today, House Armed Services chairman Mac Thornberry is shepherding his committee’s version of the 2016… Keep reading →

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter responds to questions while testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee, in Washington, D.C., May 6, 2015. DoD Photo by Glenn Fawcett (Released)

WASHINGTON: The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee has been identified as Congress’ soft underbelly in the Pentagon’s battle to win a real solution to the Budget Control Act similar to the compromise secured two years ago. That became clear at the Wednesday hearing of the subcommittee, when Carter went way out of his way to praise SAC-D… Keep reading →

Rep. Jackie Speier 2014

UPDATE: GOP Buries Dems On F-35 Vote; Mudslinging Starts early CAPITOL HILL: One of the highlights of today’s House Armed Services Committee markup of the draft defense policy bill is sure to was expected to be a series of votes on whether to shift $588.5 million to the National Guard from the purchase of an additional six Lockheed… Keep reading →

Rep. Mac Thornberry

CAPITOL HILL: Tensions within the GOP over the mandatory budget caps set by the Budget Control Act burst into the open today. The chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee repeatedly warned colleagues and the leaders of the Air Force this morning that they had no choice and must live within the Budget Control Act’s spending limits. Then,… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

WASHINGTON: The Republican congressman who oversees the Navy actually likes Barack Obama’s 2016 defense budget — except for one small thing: It isn’t really a budget. “It would be almost a misnomer to call this a budget. It’s [just] numbers,” Rep. Randy Forbes told me this morning, in advance of tomorrow’s budget hearing. “If you… Keep reading →

Oil sea routes map

WASHINGTON: When President Obama released his new National Security Strategy last week, there was great gnashing of teeth from the GOP over one particular concept mentioned once in the strategy’s 29 pages: strategic patience. Sen. John McCain’s wingman, Lindsey Graham, launched the first strike with a tweet: I doubt ISIL, the Iranian mullahs, or Vladimir… Keep reading →

Senate Armed Services Holds Hearing On F-35 Joint Strike Program

WASHINGTON: Nomination hearings are never just about the nominee. But today’s Senate lovefest for Ash Carter was remarkably dominated by two men who weren’t in the room: President Obama — in whose defense Carter was actually pretty tepid — and King Abdullah II of Jordan. The Obama White House has simultaneously “micromanag[ed]” the military and… Keep reading →

Rep. Mac Thornberry

WASHINGTON: Mac Thornberry won’t save the world. The soft-spoken Texan faces high expectations as the new head of the House Armed Services Committee, but he spent his first DC speech as chairman lowering them on what’s become his signature issue, reforming how the Pentagon buys weapons. After more than a year working quietly on acquisition… Keep reading →

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