Overnight Defense: Trump budget gets thumbs down from hawks | UK raises threat level after Manchester attack | Paul to force vote on $110B Saudi arms deal

Overnight Defense: Trump budget gets thumbs down from hawks | UK raises threat level after Manchester attack | Paul to force vote on $110B Saudi arms deal
© Greg Nash

THE TOPLINE: The Trump administration on Tuesday unveiled a budget seeking $1.5 trillion in nondefense discretionary cuts and $1.4 trillion in Medicaid cuts over the course of a decade, while adding nearly half a trillion dollars to defense spending.

The plan, titled "A New Foundation for American Greatness," would dramatically reshape federal spending, cutting anti-poverty and safety net programs, but leaving Medicare and the retirement portion of Social Security untouched. 

Congress is expected to reject many of the proposals as it takes up the budget in the coming weeks and months. It is being released, unusually, with President Trump out of town on his first foreign trip in office.

The Hill's Niv Elis has Trump's budget overview here, and the 66 programs eliminated under the plan here.

 

DEFENSE REACT: Following the budget's release, defense analysts slammed it as not meeting Trump's campaign claims for "historic" hikes in spending for the Pentagon.

Among the critics, Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate's defense authorization would set cyber doctrine Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (R-Ariz.), who blasted the overall proposal as "dead on arrival."

The budget request includes $603 billion for defense and national security issues, but if passed would only represent the ninth largest increase for the Pentagon in the past 40 years, according to Todd Harrison, a defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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It is far below the $640 billion defense hawks wanted.

The Hill's Ellen Mitchell has more here.

But Pentagon officials on Tuesday defended the budget request, saying the slight increase over previous years' projections is "not chump change." Read more here.

 

TERRORIST ATTACK IN THE UK: The director of national intelligence said Tuesday that the United States has not confirmed claims by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that it is responsible for a terrorist attack in Manchester, England.

"They claim responsibility for virtually every attack," Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsOvernight Cybersecurity: DHS bans agencies from using Kaspersky software | Panel calls Equifax CEO to testify | Facebook pulling ads from fake news Mueller investigation focusing on social media's role in 2016 election: report Intelligence director criticizes former officials for speaking out against Trump MORE told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "We have not verified yet the connection."

Coats later added that the United States has confirmed the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, though it's still assessing whether others were involved.

A suicide bomber set off an explosive as people were leaving a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande late Monday. Twenty-two people were killed and 59 injured.

Read more here.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday evening that "a further attack may be imminent." Read the rest here.

 

EX-CIA HEAD: INTEL SHOWED CONTACTS BETWEEN TRUMP AND RUSSIA: Former CIA head John Brennan saw intelligence showing Trump campaign associates had interactions with Russian officials that left him "concerned" about the possibility of collusion, he told lawmakers in public testimony on Tuesday. 

He insisted that he did not know if there had been any intentional collusion between those campaign associates, whom he declined to name, and emphasized it is possible for an individual to be recruited by Russian intelligence services without his knowledge. 

"But I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether U.S. persons were actively colluding," Brennan said during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference. 

Brennan was sufficiently concerned to inform the FBI of the intelligence uncovered by the CIA, he told the committee. 

The Hill's Katie Bo Williams has the rest here.

And the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday announced that they were issuing two additional subpoenas for businesses associated with former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

 

PAUL PLANS TO FORCE VOTE ON $110B SAUDI DEFENSE DEAL: Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Lawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program MORE intends to force a vote on a $110 billion defense deal President Trump signed with Saudi Arabia, according to an aide to the Kentucky Republican.

Paul is expected to introduce a measure to disapprove of the sale later on Wednesday, the aide said, over concerns that the deal may pull the U.S. into Yemen's civil war.

The move will allow Paul to force a vote in early June. Under the Arms Export Control Act, he can bring the measure up on the Senate floor after 10 calendar days, but the Senate is leaving town on Friday for a week-long Memorial Day break.

The Senate in September overwhelmingly rejected a similar move from Paul to halt a $1.15 billion arms sale between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

Read more here.

 

DEMS WARN TRUMP AGAINST PRE-EMPTIVE ATTACK ON NORTH KOREA: A group of 64 Democrats on Tuesday warned President Trump that he would need congressional approval for any pre-emptive military strike on North Korea.

"Few decisions are more needing of debate than a move to launch attacks, or declare war, on a nuclear-armed state such as North Korea," reads a letter from the group, according to The New York Times. "In such a volatile region, an inconsistent or unpredictable policy runs the risk of unimaginable conflict.

"We respectfully request more information about the steps your administration is taking to advance the prospects or direct negotiations that could lower the potential for catastrophic war and ultimately lead to the denuclearization of the peninsula."

Read the rest here.

 

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:

A Senate Armed Services subpanel will hear industry perspectives on achieving a 355-ship Navy at 9:30 a.m. at Russell Senate Office Building 232A. http://bit.ly/2rzpZAA

The chiefs of the National Guard and each military branch's reserves will testify before the House Appropriations defense subcommittee on their 2018 budget requests at 10 a.m. at the Capitol, House room 140. http://bit.ly/2qEYxSC

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin will testify before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on the department's 2018 budget request at 10:30 a.m. at the Cannon House Office Building, room 334. http://bit.ly/2r0aJAv

Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, and Marines Commandant Gen. Robert Neller will testify before the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee on their fiscal 2018 budget request at 10:30 a.m. at Dirksen 192. http://bit.ly/2rzdNQv

Three Navy officials will testify before a House Armed Services subcommittee on their 2018 budget request at 2 p.m. at Rayburn House Office Building 2212. http://bit.ly/2qyYNnW

A House Foreign Affairs Committee subpanel will hear from outside experts on Iran at 2 p.m. at Rayburn 2172. http://bit.ly/2pSWqha

A Senate Armed Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Department of Energy's atomic energy defense programs at 2:30 p.m. at Dirksen G-50. http://bit.ly/2q3ABGU

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will mark up its Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act at 2:30 p.m. at Russell 418. http://bit.ly/2rzBkAJ

A House Armed Services subpanel will hold a hearing on the ground force modernization budget request at 3:30 p.m. http://bit.ly/2qEZgDe

 

ICYMI:

-- The Hill: Graham: Trump State Dept. cuts would create 'a lot of Benghazis'

-- The Hill: Justice ethics experts clear Mueller to head Russia probe

-- The Hill: Former CIA head warned Russian counterpart against election interference

-- The Hill: US Troops injured in Yemen raid

-- The Hill: Trump budget calls for military base closure

-- The Hill: Dem senator: 'One of our closest allies' expressed concern about intelligence sharing

 

Please send tips and comments to Rebecca Kheel, rkheel@thehill.com, and Ellen Mitchell, emitchell@thehill.com

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