A bipartisan group of senators asked China to back off its territorial claims in the Pacific.
The Obama administration still refuses to acknowledge the validity of the zone, which sits over the Senkaku islands, known as Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea.
That said, Vice President Biden pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping, to ease the identification and notification requirements for military and civilian aircraft traveling through the contested area.
The Pentagon has ordered all American forces stationed in the Mideast are on high alert in the wake of Thursday's bombing in Yemen.
"The United States military has increased its regional alert status following the terrorist attack on the Yemeni Republic Ministry of Defense," according to a department statement issued Friday.
Obama insists deal has halted Iran's progress on nuclear weapon.
"Obama's decision to rebalance to the Pacific Basin is not in question,” Biden said.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said Thursday he was “confident” that Congress would pass the stalled Defense authorization bill this year.
But to do so, the Senate may have little chance to consider significant amendments on the bill.
U.S. forces are standing at the ready to provide support for French and African troops battling rebel forces in the Central African Republic, according to the Pentagon's top military officer.
"We're in contact with our French counterparts" regarding the ongoing operation in Africa, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said Wednesday.
"Public demands that [Afghanistan] sign the agreement by the end of the year . . . contribute to President Karzai's mistaken belief that the United States needs Afghanistan more than Afghanistan needs the United States," Levin said in the letter.
"The next Afghan president, whoever he is, is also likely to be more reliable than President Karzai, and there would be greater confidence in his sticking with an agreement he has signed," the Michigan Democrat wrote.
The senator blasted the "frivolity" of a press conference about the investigation.
Rep. Adam Smith said lawmakers will use procedural maneuver to ensure the bill is passed.