Defense

Week ahead: Showdown looms over defense spending

Senators are headed for a defense-spending showdown.

Republicans are keeping in place sequestration caps, while boosting a war fund to help the Pentagon go around those spending limits. That maneuver has Democrats crying foul, and President Obama threatening a veto.

That fight could come to a head this week with a vote in the upper chamber on the National Defense Authorization Act.

The White House is urging Senate Democrats to back Obama if he vetoes the measure. But some would prefer to take a stand on a separate defense bill later this month instead.

{mosads}It’s unclear what path Democrats will take, but some are rallying around an amendment from Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) to fence off the $38 billion in war funding until the caps are lifted.

On the other side of the Capitol, the House plans to take up its $578 billion defense bill, which keeps caps and boosts spending through the war fund.

Republicans in both chambers say by law they must adhere to the caps.

The White House hopes Republicans might be amenable to lifting the caps.

The Iran nuclear talks will also be on the agenda as the end-of-month deadline on negotiations nears.

On Wednesday, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa will host a hearing titled “Iran’s Enduring Ballistic Missile Threat.”

Its Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will also host a hearing on “Next Steps for U.S.-Cuba Policy: Settling Property Claims” the same day.

The next day, the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific will host a hearing on democracy in Asia, with State Department officials and other experts testifying.

On Wednesday, the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation will look at prescription mismanagement and the risk of veteran suicide.

Off Capitol Hill, on Monday, the Speaker of Iraq’s Parliament, Dr. Saleem Al-Jubouri, will speak at the United States Institute of Peace.

On Tuesday, Defense One will host a discussion on the military force of the future with Brad Carson, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, at The Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City.

Also on Tuesday, the Stimson Center will host an off-the-record forum with United Arab Emirates Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba. 

On Wednesday, the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on modernizing Army acquisition with Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army of acquisition, logistics and technology.

On Thursday, the Center for a New American Security will host an event titled “The Future of Carrier Aviation: The Promise of Unmanned Systems,” with Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces.

 

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