OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: No defense bill before election

On a related note, the House and Senate versions of the bill are about $3 billion apart on their bottom lines, as a result of differences over the Budget Control Act spending caps. Neither bill takes into account the $55 billion cut for 2013 that would occur Jan. 2 under sequestration.


McCain slammed Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBarr fails to persuade Cruz on expanded background checks Harry Reid warns Trump 'can be reelected' Homeland Security Republican accuses Navy of withholding UFO info MORE (D-Nev.) for not bringing the bill up in July, where he referenced a streak you’ll hear repeated plenty before the end of the year: the Defense authorization bill has passed for 50 straight years.

McCain wants Obama to invite him over: Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCan the presidential candidates please talk about our debt crisis? Michelle Malkin knocks Cokie Roberts shortly after her death: 'One of the first guilty culprits of fake news' Arizona Democratic Party will hold vote to censure Sinema MORE (R-Ariz.) has begun floating a 3-month delay for sequestration, but he said the plan to delay the cuts wouldn’t go anywhere without the president’s involvement. McCain told reporters Tuesday that he wants President Obama to call lawmakers to the White House so that the cuts can actually get fixed, a refrain he’s used many times over the past few months to little avail.

“I want him to call us over to the White House and say, 'What do we need to do to fix this?' ” McCain said. 

“That’s what presidents are supposed to do. That’s why his title is commander in chief, not mine,” McCain said. “I wish it were,” he added with a laugh.

Meanwhile, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinStrange bedfellows oppose the filibuster Listen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home House Democrats poised to set a dangerous precedent with president’s tax returns MORE (D-Mich.) told reporters Tuesday that he was confident sequestration would not happen because no one wants it to.

McCain and Graham weigh in on Netanyahu: Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Overnight Defense: Trump says he has 'many options' on Iran | Hostage negotiator chosen for national security adviser | Senate Dems block funding bill | Documents show Pentagon spent at least 4K at Trump's Scotland resort GOP's Kennedy sends warning shot to Trump nominee Menashi MORE (R-S.C.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said they were “surprised and disappointed” by reports that President Obama allegedly denied a request to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “It is puzzling that the President can't make time to see the head of state of one of America's closest allies in the world,” the senators said in a statement Tuesday evening.

“If these reports are true, the White House's decision sends a troubling signal to our ally Israel about America's commitment at this dangerous and challenging time, especially as Iran continues to work actively toward developing a nuclear weapons capability.”

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor denied the rumors of a snub by Obama, saying the two could not meet because of scheduling. But it will still provide fodder for Republicans ahead of the election, as McCain and Graham showed; the GOP and Mitt Romney have accused Obama of not supporting Israel and criticized the president for not taking a hard enough line on Iran.

Shields up in the East: For months, House Republicans have been trying to make their case for an East Coast missile shield. On Tuesday, their argument picked a key endorsement. A study released by the National Research Council, a subsidiary of the National Academy of Sciences, claimed a new missile shield on the eastern seaboard would help close critical gaps in the existing U.S. defenses.

The council's findings fly in the face of the White House's strategy of building a new missile shield in Eastern Europe. But it does bolster House GOP calls for an East Coast shield. Earlier this year, House Republicans pushed through legislation funding a new East Coast shield to be built by 2015.

Put a cork in it: Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R-Tenn.) is doing all he can to put a cork — pun intended — in Iran's efforts to circumvent current economic sanctions. In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonQueer Marine veteran launches House bid after incumbent California Rep. Susan Davis announces retirement Poll: Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Florida Former immigration judge fined, temporarily banned from federal service for promoting Clinton policies MORE sent Tuesday, Corker demanded the department do all it can to ensure Egypt was not helping Tehran smuggle out illegal oil shipments.

The sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies are designed to force Iran to abandon its controversial nuclear program. Tehran claims the program is geared toward peaceful means. The United States and Israel claim the program is designed to create an atomic weapon. Recent reports claim Iraq and now Egypt have been assisting the Iranian government in oil sales. If true, Corker argued that assistance "stands as an affront to our strong efforts" to get Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. 

Dem lawmaker targets Academi: Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) wants the State Department and Pentagon to either suspend or debar Academi, formerly known as Xe and as Blackwater, from receiving government contracts. Tierney, ranking member of the House Oversight National Security subcommittee said the recent settlement with the Eastern District of North Carolina’s U.S. Attorney detailed “multiple alleged violations” of arms export controls and federal firearms laws. He urged DOD and State to re-evaluate the case and consider contract suspension or debarment with the company that’s changed its name twice since the days it was Blackwater. 


— US vulnerable to missile attack

— Levin: Sequestration will not happen

— Netanyahu criticizes US on Iran

— GOP leaders invoke 9/11 on defense cuts

— Obama marks 9/11 anniversary at Pentagon

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