OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Manning found guilty on espionage charges

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamTop admiral: North Korea crisis is 'worst I've seen' Comey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee Overnight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes back against critics of LGBT record MORE (R-S.C) told The Hill on Tuesday that he respected Lind's decision, in light of the harmful effect the leaks had on U.S. national security.

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"It’s one of the more serious things I’ve seen a military member do since I’ve been around, for 30 years," Graham said. "People who say he’s a hero are misguided in terms of who a hero might be." 

Civil rights activists claim Manning had been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment since being taken into custody in 2010 and is being unfairly persecuted by the Obama administration for disclosing the information.

Manning's conviction "makes clear that the government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future," Ben Wizner, director of the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement Tuesday. 

Senate Appropriators approve defense bill: The Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Defense on Tuesday passed a $594.4 billion bill that keeps Pentagon spending at pre-sequester levels in 2014.

The bill, which includes $516.4 billion in base defense spending and $77.8 billion in war spending, does not take sequestration into account, following the same path as the other three Defense bills Congress has moved this year.

If sequestration is not averted, the Pentagon’s 2014 budget proposal would face a $52 billion cut.

The total Senate bill is $3 billion smaller than the House measure. The Senate’s proposal includes $3.9 billion more in the base budget, but it appropriates $7 billion less in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) than the House and is below the administration’s OCO request.

Subcommittee Chairman Dick DurbinDick DurbinLawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills Democrats exploring lawsuit against Trump Senators warn of 'dangerous' cuts to International Affairs Budget MORE (D-Ill.) and other top lawmakers on the panel said Thursday that the sequester had to be dealt with or the Pentagon would face even greater pain in 2014 than it did in 2013.

Durbin warned that the Pentagon’s “whack-a-mole” approach to dealing with sequestration cuts in 2013 cannot be sustained in 2014.

“Civilian workers will be have to be laid off, rather than simply furloughed,” he said, and service members might not receive their bonuses.

There is no end in sight to the sequester, however, despite lawmakers from both parties who want to reverse the cuts.

Committee clears Dempsey nomination: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey moved one step closer to being confirmed for a second term Tuesday as the Senate Armed Services Committee approved his nomination in a voice vote.

The Senate panel held voice votes on the nominations of Dempsey, Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Adm. James Winnefeld Jr. and an en bloc approval of more than 2,000 military officials.

The panel didn’t meet formally to approve the nominees, as it cleared them by establishing a quorum while the Senate voted Tuesday afternoon.

Dempsey’s confirmation faced turbulence earlier this month after Sen. John McCainJohn McCainSunday shows preview: Trump plans next steps Ex-Bush aide Nicolle Wallace to host MSNBC show Meghan McCain: Obama 'a dirty capitalist like the rest of us' MORE (R-Ariz.) had briefly threatened a hold on the nomination over a dispute about U.S. Syria policy.

McCain had criticized Dempsey at his confirmation hearing after the four-star general would not disclose his personal opinion about possible U.S. intervention in Syria.

McCain dropped the threat of a hold less than a week later after Dempsey sent over an assessment of U.S. military options in Syria, although McCain also criticized that assessment.

Dempsey is expected to be easily confirmed by the full Senate, which could come this week before the August recess.

McCain, Graham to visit Egypt: President Obama is asking Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to travel to Egypt next week in a bid to persuade the nation's military and government leaders to quickly hold elections, the senators said Tuesday.

“The president asked Sen. McCain and myself to go to Egypt next week, so we’re trying to find a way to get there,” Graham told reporters.

The proposed trip comes amid growing frustration from lawmakers over the Obama administration’s unwillingness to label the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi a military coup.

The Senate could vote this week on a measure from Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulRand Paul to teach a course on dystopias in George Washington University Destructive 'fat cat' tax law a complete flop. It's time to repeal it. Trump must take action in Macedonia to fix damage done by Obama and Clinton MORE (R-Ky.) that would cut off $1.5 billion in U.S. aid to Egypt, which he is proposing as an amendment to a transportation and housing spending bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he would allow a vote on Paul’s amendment.

“I have told everyone, including Rand Paul, if he wants a vote on Egypt, we'll give him a vote on Egypt,” Reid said Tuesday.  “It's up to the Republicans. I'm willing to do it. I don't like to telegraph my moves, but I think I would move to table that.”

Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiBipartisan friendship is a civil solution to political dysfunction Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day After 30 years celebrating women’s history, have we made enough progress? MORE (D-Md.) said Tuesday that the Egypt amendment was one of the major items Sens. Patty MurrayPatty MurraySenate confirms Labor Secretary Acosta Dems unveil bill targeting LGBT harassment on college campuses Trump said he would create ‘more jobs and better wages’ — he can start with federal contractors MORE (D-Wash.) and Susan CollinsSusan CollinsSunday shows preview: Trump plans next steps The Hill's 12:30 Report Overnight Energy: Lawmakers work toward deal on miners’ benefits MORE (R-Maine) were negotiating in an attempt to reach an amendment agreement to move the bill this week before the August recess.


In Case You Missed It: 

— McCain calls for delay on LCS buys 

— DOD: Afghans will need US help after 2014 withdrawal

— House lawmakers say "justice has been served" in Manning case

— Senate appropriators pass $594B defense spending bill


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