Senate takes final crack at DOD budget plan

Madelyn Creedon, the assistant secretary of Defense for global strategic affairs, is scheduled to go before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday to discuss the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. 

The hearing was initially set for April but was delayed by the committee to June. 

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Creedon will testify alongside Kenneth Myers, the director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and Anne Harrington, the deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration. 

Senate Republicans continue to wrangle with Democrats over the White House's efforts to reduce the nuclear arsenal under the New START treaty with Russia. 

Administration officials and congressional Democrats are still dealing with the fallout from President Obama's remark, caught by a live microphone, to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he’d have more “flexibility” on the issue after the November election.

Also Tuesday, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) will share his thoughts on how the White House, Pentagon and Congress will continue to support current national security priorities while facing deep budget cuts over the next decade. 

Along with Levin, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright and President and CEO of TASC Inc. David Langstaff will discuss the uncertain fiscal future for defense during the event, which will be held at the National Press Club. 

On Wednesday, former undersecretary of Defense for policy Michèle Flournoy, former DOD comptroller Dov Zakheim and retired Army Lt. Gen David Barno, who headed U.S. forces during Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq, will provide their thoughts on the changing national security landscape. The three former officials will speak as part of the Center for a New American Security's annual conference in Washington. 

That same day, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will go before Senate defense appropriators to go over the Defense Department's entire fiscal 2013 spending package. 

The House Appropriations Committee passed a defense bill in May that provides $3 billion more than Obama’s proposed budget.

The $608 billion measure passed out of the full committee on a voice vote, setting up a showdown with the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is expected to move a budget that’s funded at the level requested by the Obama administration.

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