Tag Archives: senate

Levin: Close Vote Likely in Senate Military Sexual Assault Measure

Levin: Close Vote Likely in Senate Military Sexual Assault Measure

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Sen. Carl Levin in 2012. US Navy Photo

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Sen. Carl Levin in 2012. US Navy Photo

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee says commanders “are essential to winning this fight” [against sexual assault], but he expects a “much closer vote on the floor” as to whether they will be the ones deciding to prosecute such cases. Read More

China Critical of U.S. Senate South China Sea Resolution

China Critical of U.S. Senate South China Sea Resolution

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Chinese officials ‘strongly’ oppose a Monday U.S. Senate action that “condemns the use of coercion, threats, or force by naval, maritime security, or fishing vessels and military or civilian aircraft,” in the South and East China Sea, according to a Thursday report from the Xinhua news agency. Read More

Testy Dempsey Reconfirmation Hearing Dominated by Syria

Testy Dempsey Reconfirmation Hearing Dominated by Syria

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey waits to be seated during the Senate Armed Services Committee reconfirmation hearing on July 18, 2013. Department of Defense Photo

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey waits to be seated during the Senate Armed Services Committee reconfirmation hearing on July 18, 2013. Department of Defense Photo

How far the United States should go in supporting the Syrian opposition, and just what the role of the Chairman (and Vice Chairman) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in formulating that strategy should be, dominated the sometimes testy re-confirmation hearing of Gen. Martin Dempsey and Adm. James Winnefeld on 18 July.

Dempsey’s re-confirmation is not assured. A key member of the panel—Arizona Republican John McCain—was so upset by Dempsey’s answers on Syria that he threatened to put a hold on the nomination. The chairman of the committee offered a possible compromise to get the nomination for a second Dempsey term back on track. Winnefeld did not come under that kind of scrutiny. Read More

Pacific Fleet’s Haney Nominated for Top STRATCOM Job

Pacific Fleet’s Haney Nominated for Top STRATCOM Job

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, addresses the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in April. US Navy Photo

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, addresses the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in April. US Navy Photo

Adm. Cecil Haney has been nominated to take the top job at U.S. Strategic Command, according to a Monday release from the Department of Defense.

Haney, currently the commander of U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet, will replace U.S. Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, pending Senate confirmation. Read More

NSA Leaks Dominate Cyber Hearing

NSA Leaks Dominate Cyber Hearing

alexanderWhen the Senate Appropriations Committee meets, the subject is usually money — say the $13 billion that the administration is seeking for cyber warfare in the Fiscal Year 2014 — but how the National Security Agency, U.S. Cyber Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce and the FBI planned to spend that money was swept away by repeated questions over just what the federal government was doing in collecting so much data on U.S. citizens.

There is an inherent tension between security and privacy and citizens want to know what the government is doing with the data it is collecting from phone calls to Google searches to credit card purchases, said committee chair Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). Read More

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.
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Biofuels in Congress

Biofuels in Congress

It’s been a little more than six months since two prominent Senate Armed Services Committee Republicans took aim at efforts underway within the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a national biofuels market. During the Committee’s May, 24th mark-up of this year’s defense authorization bill, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and the panel’s Ranking Member, John McCain (R-AZ), pushed through separate amendments that would have ended the Department’s pursuit of advanced renewable fuels.

The bill reported out of Committee included Inhofe’s amendment that prohibits the Pentagon from buying alternative fuels if their up-front cost is higher than that of traditional fossil fuels. Language added by McCain and backed by Inhofe banned the DoD from building or retooling refineries to produce biofuels. But in the last two weeks, talks on the energy issue intensified, sparked by a letter to Senate leadership signed by 38 members. The topic of biofuels emerged as a key sticking point, Senate aides said.

Fuels Distribution Systems Operator David Riggs, from Fleet Logistic Center Puget Sound Manchester Fuel Department, secures a fueling hose during a biofuels transfer to the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187). Henry J. Kaiser took on 900,000 gallons of a 50/50 blend of advanced biofuels and is scheduled to deliver the biofuels to platforms participating in the Great Green Fleet demonstration during the exercise Rim of the Pacific 2012. U.S. Navy Photo

Fuels Distribution Systems Operator David Riggs, from Fleet Logistic Center Puget Sound Manchester Fuel Department, secures a fueling hose during a biofuels transfer to the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187). Henry J. Kaiser took on 900,000 gallons of a 50/50 blend of advanced biofuels and is scheduled to deliver the biofuels to platforms participating in the Great Green Fleet demonstration during the exercise Rim of the Pacific 2012. U.S. Navy Photo

The November, 16th letter led by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and joined by 35 other Democrats, Independent Joe Lieberman (CT) and Republican Susan Collins (ME) called the Inhofe and McCain provisions “harmful and counterproductive” and expressed strong support for “the ability of military leaders to develop and employ alternative fuels.”

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J. Randy Forbes Talks Sequestration

J. Randy Forbes Talks Sequestration

Rep. J. Randy Forbes is chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee. The Virginia Republican has held several hearings on naval readiness in the current Congress. He will be part of a panel on the looming fiscal cliff— that could result in a 10 percent reduction in defense spending—at Defense Forum Washington hosted by the U.S. Naval Institute next week.

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Rep. Forbes, you said Wednesday that you’re expecting to see sequestration in some form in January. Could you expand on that?

Obviously we are still hopeful to divert sequestration from taking place. The clock is ticking. We continue to believe that defense has already paid its share and shouldn’t be cut in such an arbitrary and drastic fashion. But it’s going to take an awful lot to keep from going over the cliff.

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