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When the Defense Bill Collides With 'Extraneous' Politics

June 18, 2015 Welcome to the defense standoff of 2015. "We've never faced this issue before," Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said in an interview about a brewing disagreement over defense and nondefense budgeting that could shutter the government later this year. "I'm very worried." "You can't just increase spending on...

Democrats Retreat In the Battle Over Defense Budget 'Gimmick'

June 17, 2015 Senate Democrats were against defense authorization before they were for it. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, their message is mixed: They fully support the troops, but they really don't like how Republicans are supporting the troops with contingency war funds. Does that translate into a "no"...

Democrats Go Wobbly on Defense Bills

June 17, 2015 Senate Democrats were against defense authorization before they were for it. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, their message is mixed: They fully support the troops, but they really don't like how Republicans are supporting the troops with contingency war funds. Does that translate into a "no"...

Democrats Set to Block Defense Bill Amid GOP Attacks

June 15, 2015 Senate Democrats hope to stop a lauded defense authorization bill this week before President Obama has a chance to veto it. It will mark their latest, but by no means last, vote in protest of mandatory across-the-board budget cuts that were agreed to four years ago as part of a...

Senate Takes Up Defense Authorization Bill, House Works on Defense Spending

June 8, 2015 The Senate could wrap up its work on the National Defense Authorization Act by the end of this week if the managers of the bill continue to plow through as many amendments as possible, as they promised last week. Before that happens, there could be votes on subjects as diverse...

The Next Budget Conflict Has Begun, With a Potential Shutdown on the Line

June 8, 2015 The message from Senate Democrats this week will go like this: Serious talks should begin now on avoiding a government shutdown. Why force us to carry out our threat of blocking all spending bills until we hit September, the last few days of the fiscal year, to come up with...

Democrats' Opposition to GOP Defense Bill Is Slowly Crumbling

June 4, 2015 Senate Democrats are drawing a line in the sand on defense spending—sort of. They are acknowledging that members of their party will have a hard time voting against an annual defense authorization bill, which includes a number of welcome changes for troops, including a pay raise and 401(k) options for...

Democrats' Shifting Line on Pentagon Spending

June 4, 2015 Senate Democrats are drawing a line in the sand on defense spending—sort of. They are acknowledging that members of their party will have a hard time voting against an annual defense authorization bill, which includes a number of welcome changes for troops, including a pay raise and 401(k) options for...

Standoff Over Defense Spending Could Seriously Endanger Major Bill

June 1, 2015 Lawmakers return to Washington this week with, to put it charitably, a few loose strings to tie up on the bulk-data-collection provisions of the Patriot Act. Senate GOP leaders have been mulling their options on the Patriot Act, and House members have been wondering if they might be called upon...

The Senate's Three Competing Priorities Before Memorial Day Recess

May 18, 2015 Mitch McConnell has three competing priorities this week before he can send the Senate home for a Memorial Day break: Trade Promotion Authority, the Patriot Act, and a highway bill. As of last week, the majority leader had committed addressing all of them, but no one in either party knows...

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