OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: McKeon, White House square off on sequestration

When asked if Zients could appear before the House defense panel, OMB spokesman Kenneth Baer replied in a tersely-worded email that "we are reviewing his invitation." Needless to say, if Zients accepts Mckeon's offer and does show up before the committee, the hearing could make for some must see C-SPAN. 

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Vets legislation passes committee: A bill that would make military training count toward federal job requirements moved forward Wednesday, passing out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The legislation, sponsored by Reps. Jeff Denham (D-Calif.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.), would direct federal agencies to treat military training as sufficient to satisfy certification requirements for federal licenses. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has a companion bill in the Senate.

Moving On: Wednesday was Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger's last day as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. The Maryland Democrat stepped aside to make way for the House’s newest member, Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.). Ruppersberger's departure from the Armed Services panel, which his office confirmed Wednesday, will allow for Barber will take his seat on the dais and join the committee that his onetime boss and predecessor, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), also served on. 

The Armed Services switch was just the latest round of musical chairs that members of Congress frequently play on congressional committees after elections. With his senior position as ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Ruppersberger won’t lose much clout on national security issues without a position on the panel.

Senate Armed Services gets an online makeover: The Senate Armed Services Committee officially entered the 21st century online this week, unveiling a brand new website. The panel’s old site, which might have been referred to in the same sentence as Netscape more than once, has been replaced with a modern, sleek-looking page, complete with committee history, a full staff list, RSS feeds and a searchable database of hearings and meetings going back to 2002. You can check out the panel’s new online home here.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

— Navy still can't afford Mayport move 

— Rohrabacher claims corruption in China-Afghan oil deal

— Kofi Annan blocks Iran from Syrian peace talks 

— Sequestration a political time-bomb


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