Defense

McCain: NATO allies must spend 2 percent of GDP on defense

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said NATO members needed to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense in order to stop Russia from invading neighboring countries.

“Considering what President Putin is doing right now in Ukraine, it is more important than ever for every NATO ally to spend at least 2 percent of its GDP on defense,” McCain said.

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Landrieu: 'Shocking' Vitter would say I'm not 'effective'

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) defended herself Thursday from Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who said Wednesday that she isn’t “effective.”

“I’ve been called many things on this floor … but I’ve never been called ineffective. So it was a little bit shocking to me,” Landrieu said. “Maybe my colleague was having a bad day, so I’m going to let it go.”

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Reid: 'We stand with the people of Fort Hood'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) mourned the tragedy at Fort Hood, saying his thoughts are with the victims.

“We have to reflect on what took place in Fort Hood yesterday — another tragedy,” Reid said on the Senate floor Thursday. “Our hearts are all broken at yet another tragedy at this military facility.”

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Senators want to ban tobacco sales on naval bases

Senate Democrats urged the Navy to stop the sale of tobacco products on ships and bases.

Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sent U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus a letter over the weekend expressing their opinion on the issue the Navy is currently considering.

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Cornyn: Russian aggression should dispel Obama’s ‘naïveté’

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said he hopes Russia’s annexation of Crimea will “dispel” President Obama of his “naïveté” in believing the Russian-U.S. relationship has been “reset.”

The Obama administration had sought to “reset” the relationship with Russia. But Cornyn accused the president of looking weak and ignoring other aggressions from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Walsh demands DOD stop using Chinese material for weapons

Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) said Tuesday that he wants the Obama administration to stop buying Chinese materials that are then used to make U.S. weapons.

“I am deeply concerned by recent reports that, despite being prohibited by federal law, many U.S military aircraft and weapons systems contain both rare earth elements mined in China, and raw materials manufactured in China,” Walsh wrote in a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

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