House negotiators named for defense bill

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner says it's Democrats' turn for a Tea Party movement House Republicans find silver lining in minority Alaskan becomes longest serving Republican in House history 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 BoehnerBoehner says it's Democrats' turn for a Tea Party movement House Republicans find silver lining in minority Alaskan becomes longest serving Republican in House history MORE said in a statement.


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 BishopOvernight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide Overnight Energy: Solar installations dropped in 2018 | UN report says rising Arctic temperatures 'locked in' | Fiat Chrysler to recall 850K vehicles MORE (Utah), Michael Turner (Ohio), John Kline (Minn.), Mike Rogers (Ala.), Bill Shuster (Pa.), Mike Conaway (Texas), Doug Lamborn (Colo.), Rob WittmanRobert (Rob) Joseph WittmanWhy block citizenship to immigrants who defend America? Virginia 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 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 SmithHouse Armed Services chair denounces new limits on transgender service members Overnight Defense: Senate breaks with Trump on Yemen war | Shanahan hit with ethics complaint over Boeing ties | Pentagon rolls out order to implement transgender ban | Dem chair throws cold water on Space Force budget House Armed Services chairman casts doubt over Trump's proposed Space Force budget MORE (Wash.), Loretta Sanchez (Calif.), Susan Davis (Calif.), James Langevin (R.I.), Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenFAA comes under new scrutiny over Boeing decision Trump issues emergency order grounding Boeing 737 Max jets Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal MORE (Wash.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Joe Courtney (Conn.), Niki Tsongas (Mass.), John GaramendiJohn Raymond GaramendiTrump's emergency declaration looms over Pentagon funding fight House Dems demand Pentagon provide details about plans to fund Trump border wall Dem lawmaker: 'The president has it in for California' 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.