Tag Archives: Congress

Politico: Hagel Vote Blocked

Politico: Hagel Vote Blocked

Senator Chuck Hagel speaks at the Forum on the Law of the Sea Convention held at the Willard Intercontinental Washington Hotel, Washington D.C, May 9, 2012. DoD Photo

Senator Chuck Hagel speaks at the Forum on the Law of the Sea Convention held at the Willard Intercontinental Washington Hotel, Washington D.C, May 9, 2012. DoD Photo

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next Secretary of Defense was being blocked by Senate Republicans over demands for more information on Hagel’s background and the September attack of the consulate in Benghazi, reported Politico.
Read More

Joint Chiefs to Congress: Budget Cuts Will Result in Deaths

Joint Chiefs to Congress: Budget Cuts Will Result in Deaths

Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos speaks along side Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert before the House Armed Services Committee in 2012. US Navy Photo

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos speaks alongside Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert before the House Armed Services Committee in 2012. US Navy Photo

The Joint Chiefs of Staff made another round of dire warnings about impending sequestration at a hearing Wednesday, this time telling the House Armed Services Committee who may die because of budget problems — and how.
Read More

CNO's HASC Opening Statement

CNO’s HASC Opening Statement

Adm. Jonathan Greenert with fellow service chiefs addressing Congress in an undated photo. US Navy Photo

Adm. Jonathan Greenert with fellow service chiefs addressing Congress in an undated photo. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert’s opening statement to the House Armed Services Committee for the Feb. 13 House Armed Services Committee’s hearing on the effects of the Continuing Resolution and Sequestration. This post originally appeared in Adm. Greenert’s blog.

Shipmates,

Today I testified before the House Armed Services Committee to outline the readiness impacts of sequestration and the lack of an appropriations bill. The following is my opening statement:
Read More

Opinion: Chuck Hagel and the Necons

Opinion: Chuck Hagel and the Necons

Senator Chuck Hagel speaks at the Forum on the Law of the Sea Convention held at the Willard Intercontinental Washington Hotel, Washington D.C, May 9, 2012. DoD Photo

Senator Chuck Hagel speaks at the Forum on the Law of the Sea Convention held at the Willard Intercontinental Washington Hotel, Washington D.C, May 9, 2012. DoD Photo

Chuck Hagel’s going over at the hands of Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday was more than an argument over political and policy differences; it was another spasm in the efforts of neoconservatives to define U.S. security policy in their own image.

Hagel, a Republican former two-term senator from Nebraska, had once been considered one of the neoconservatives’ own, at least for a while. After joining the Senate in 1997, he quickly became one of Republican Sen. John McCain’s more avid wingmen. He helped run the Arizonan’s 2000 campaign for the party’s presidential nomination. Hagel also voted for the 2002 resolution to authorize U.S. action against Iraq, the precursor to the March 2003 invasion.
Read More

Navy: Lincoln Refueling Delayed, Will Hurt Carrier Readiness

Navy: Lincoln Refueling Delayed, Will Hurt Carrier Readiness

The aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. US Navy Photo
The aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), USS Enterprise (CVN-65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) are in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy will delay the refueling of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) for an unknown period because of the uncertain fiscal environment due to the ongoing legislative struggle, the service told Congress in a Friday message obtained by USNI News.

Lincoln was scheduled to be moved to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipyard later this month to begin the 4-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the ship. Read More

Funding Faults Threaten to Hollow Force

Funding Faults Threaten to Hollow Force

With the passage of the Budget Control Act (BCA) in 2011, Congress and the President set up a series of mechanisms meant to compel consensus on a roadmap for the nation’s long-term fiscal stability. But instead of compromise, bickering and discontent among the nation’s political leadership led to successive fiscal showdowns and short-term budgetary patches, the latest of which expires in just a few weeks. The effects of the budgetary stalemate have been particularly acute in the Department of Defense (DOD), and the threat to the nation’s armed forces is growing every day.

Read More

Commander Surface Force: Navy is Risking a Hollow Surface Fleet

Commander Surface Force: Navy is Risking a Hollow Surface Fleet

The head of naval surface forces fears the sea service is teetering dangerously close to an operational cliff where ships simply won’t be available to do what they need to do.Vice Adm. Tom Copeman told the Surface Navy Association Symposium on Tuesday that sailors are being pushed to keep their ships up to snuff without being given enough time, spare parts or training to do proper maintenance. The Navy, he said, has been pushing personnel harder and harder, to do more with less, for years. Copeman pointed to rampant cross-decking, where sailors are snatched from docked ships and put on board deploying ones, often hindering maintenance on the docked vessel. He also said sailors are likely as not to be unable to find the spare parts they need on board their ship when something malfunctions or breaks. Eventually, he said, a day will come when a ship that needs to deploy won’t be able to. “It’s getting harder and harder, I think, for us to look troops in the eye and say, ‘Hey, just do it and meet the standard,'” Copeman said. “Some ships can do it. Some ships can’t.” Copeman said that the surface navy’s depot maintenance budget is practically at rock bottom right now for the size of the Fleet. If the budget gets any lower, he warned that the Navy risks creating a “hollow” Fleet.

Read More

How a Defense Bill Becomes Defense Law

How a Defense Bill Becomes Defense Law

Congress closed its 2010-2012 session by passing a fiscal package that delays deep cuts to the defense budget and other executive branch agencies for two months, averting the “fiscal cliff” that threatened to slash nearly $50 billion from DOD’s 2013 appropriations ledger.

The negotiations offered a very public look at the high-drama posturing that has become a hallmark of dealings between the White House and Capitol Hill. To many casual observers, the back-and-forth signaled a new low in relations between the two branches, but to many on the inside, it was symptomatic of the legislative process that grinds on every day, usually outside of public view.

congress.n

The hard work of crafting bipartisan legislation may take months of talks behind closed doors but produce only a few days of newsworthy drama. The annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is one of those must-pass measures that enjoy overwhelming bipartisan support but take months of meetings, briefings, hearings and tense negotiations among members of the House and Senate from both sides of the aisle and DOD. The Hill and Pentagon trade budget requests, legislative proposals, cost estimates, testing data, planning documents and long-term strategy to craft each year’s spending priorities and an overarching national-security policy. The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) leads the four defense committees each year, followed by House and Senate Defense Appropriators — the HAC-D and SAC-D — and finally the Senate Armed Services Committee — SASC.

Read More

This Time, It's Different

This Time, It’s Different

Proceedings, January 2013

A close observer of defense-spending trends takes a look at dollars and sense and the looming budget challenges in the Pentagon.

Defense-budget headlines of late have concentrated on sequestration, as hand-wringing increased about the so-called fiscal cliff. Most coverage has focused on defense officials predicting dire consequences for the Department of Defense (DOD), or industry officials warning of job losses and collapse of certain technology sectors and associated businesses. The U.S. Naval Institute recently hosted Defense Forum Washington with a program titled “The Fiscal Cliff: What Does This Mean for Defense and National Security?” The conference focused on sequestration and its impacts. Speakers and panelists offered different perspectives on impact, ranging from disaster to a mere “pothole,” and on occurrence from irresponsible to a fait accompli that should happen to provoke fundamental changes in DOD.

Read More