House negotiators named for defense bill

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBill Clinton jokes no one would skip Dingell's funeral: 'Only time' we could get the last word Left flexes muscle in immigration talks Former Ryan aide moves to K street MORE (Ohio) on Thursday selected 18 of his fellow Republicans to represent the chamber in coming talks over the annual defense policy bill. 

“The House passed a strong defense bill that promises the pay raise and benefits our troops have earned and provides the tools, resources, and authorities they need to keep America safe,” BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBill Clinton jokes no one would skip Dingell's funeral: 'Only time' we could get the last word Left flexes muscle in immigration talks Former Ryan aide moves to K street MORE said in a statement.

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He ripped Democrats who supported the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) when it was marked up by the House Armed Services Committee but “withdrew their support to extract more government spending on bureaucracies like the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and the IRS.”

Democratic leaders also made their picks for the talks.

Selecting negotiators to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the massive $612 billion authorization bill was held up slightly after the Senate Armed Services Committee received a “blue slip” warning that some of its provisions aimed at revamping military retirement benefits fell under the purview of the Senate Finance Committee.

That issue was resolved on the Senate floor Thursday morning, when lawmakers agreed by unanimous consent to reconfigure part of the Senate's NDAA.

The House conferees will be led by Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), who was named the chairman of the overall negotiations during a ceremonial “pass the gavel” ceremony.

The two defense bills contain major differences on the fate of the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and Pentagon acquisition reform.

“We’re going to work hard to resolve issues and try to get them done mid-July, or at least in time before the August break,” Thornberry told reporters before the close-door ceremony.

Both bills have earned a veto threat from the White House because they include a roughly $38 billion boost to the Pentagon’s war fund, allowing the department to skirt budget caps put in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

“I hope the President will think long and hard about his threat to veto the NDAA at a time when he is sending troops into harms way,” Thornberry said in a statement.

Other Republican conferees include Reps. Randy ForbesJames (Randy) Randy ForbesToo much ‘can do,’ not enough candor Trump makes little headway filling out Pentagon jobs Why there's only one choice for Trump's Navy secretary MORE (Va.), Jeff Miller (Fla.), Joe WilsonAddison (Joe) Graves WilsonPollster says younger lawmakers more likely to respond to State of the Union on social media The State of the Union is obsolete Dem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King MORE (S.C.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Rob BishopRobert (Rob) William BishopSenate votes to extend key funding mechanism for parks Republicans push back at first climate hearings Climate change on front burner after 8 years of GOP rule MORE (Utah), Michael Turner (Ohio), John Kline (Minn.), Mike Rogers (Ala.), Bill Shuster (Pa.), Mike Conaway (Texas), Doug Lamborn (Colo.), Rob WittmanRobert (Rob) Joseph WittmanVirginia reps urge Trump to declare federal emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence Overnight Defense: House passes 5B defense spending bill | Pentagon moving forward on Trump military parade | Mattis vows 'ironclad' support for South Korea's defense House passes 5B Pentagon spending bill MORE (Va.), Duncan Hunter (Calif.), Vicky Hartzler (Mo.), Joe Heck (Nev.), Brad Wenstrup (Ohio) and Elise Stefanik (N.Y.).

The Democratic conferees are Armed Services ranking member Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Papering over climate change impacts is indefensible Why Democrats are pushing for a new nuclear policy MORE (Wash.), Loretta Sanchez (Calif.), Susan Davis (Calif.), James Langevin (R.I.), Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenAviation groups push bill that would fund FAA during shutdown Transportation Department watchdog to examine airplane cabin evacuation standards Dems win nail-biter in charity congressional soccer game MORE (Wash.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Joe Courtney (Conn.), Niki Tsongas (Mass.), John GaramendiJohn Raymond GaramendiOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Trump blasts intel officials as 'passive and naive' | Lawmakers reintroduce Yemen war powers resolution | Dems push Pentagon to redo climate report | VA proposes new rules for private health care House Armed Services Dems demand Pentagon offer more complete climate change report Overnight Defense: Trump agrees to reopen government without wall funding | Senate approves stopgap spending | Dems ask Armed Services chair to block military funding for wall | Coast Guard official assures workers they will receive back pay MORE (Calif.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), Jackie Speier (Calif.), Joaquin Castro (Texas), Tammy Duckworth (Ill.) and Del. Madeleine BordalloMadeleine Mary BordalloThis week: Lawmakers return to mourn George H.W. Bush Guam New Members 2019 Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE (Guam).

The Senate will likely name its conferees after the July 4 break.

— This story was last updated at 5:23 p.m.