Overnight Defense: Biden hits Trump on national security | Dems raise pressure over refugees | Graham vows fight over spending caps

THE TOPLINE: Refugees were on the minds of lawmakers and officials Monday as the globe marked World Refugee Day.

The United Nations released new figures showing 65.3 million people are refugees or internally displaced in their countries, breaking last year's record by 5.8 million.

Of that, 4.9 million are Syrian refugees.

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With the Syrian civil war continuing to rage, House Democrats are calling on Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryUN chief warns unchecked climate change will mean 'survival of the richest' Conservatives rip FBI over IG report: 'scathing indictment' Live coverage: DOJ inspector general testifies on Capitol Hill MORE to meet the administration's stated goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. before October.

Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) penned a letter, signed by 73 other House Democrats, urging Kerry to keep the promise.

"Falling short of even this goal is not in keeping with our democratic values and professed role as a leader among nations and beacon of hope for those seeking safety from war," they wrote.

The Hill's Kristina Wong has more information on both the U.N. report and the Democrats' letter.

GRAHAM BLASTS SEQUESTRATION: Several prominent defense leaders converged on the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) annual conference Monday to talk the future of national security.

Among them was Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report Graham: People should be fired over surveillance report findings GOP, Trump campaign rip CNN for coverage of Horowitz hearing MORE (R-S.C.), who predicted an end to budget caps next year so that cuts to military can be rolled back, and he indicated he is prepared for a fight to make that happen.

"If you're going to fight fixing sequestration, you're a complete a-hole," he said. "If you want a fight over this, whether you're Democrat or Republican, we're going to have one hell of a fight because I'm not going to put up with this crap any longer. Come next year, we're going to get a resolution."

Graham was joined on stage by Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedGabbard calls for congressional inquiry over Afghanistan war report Gillibrand demands hearing following release of 'Afghanistan Papers' Republicans raise concerns over Trump pardoning service members MORE (R.I.), the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Pentagon officials have warned that the budget caps, known as sequestration, and budget instability are a threat to national security.

Read more here.

BIDEN TARGETS TRUMP ON NATIONAL SECURITY: Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Democrat representing Pennsylvania district Trump carried plans to vote to impeach  MORE gave a keynote address at a Center for a New American Security event, where he took shots at presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE's national security proposals. While Biden never mentioned him by name, among his targets were Trump's calls to ban Muslims from entering the country and to build a wall on the southern border.

"If we build walls and disrespect our closest neighbors, we will quickly see all this progress disappear -- replaced by a return of anti-Americanism and a corrosive rift throughout our hemisphere," Biden said. "Even in simpler times, isolationism never offered more than a false sense of security."

The Hill's Julian Hattem has more on the speech.

DEFENSE CHIEF DEFENDS ALLIANCES: Defense Secretary Ash Carter also provided a keynote at the Center for a New American Security conference, where he avoided directly criticizing Trump while hailing the United States' global alliances.

The Hill's Kristina Wong has the story:

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday at a think tank event he would not wade into 2016 presidential politics, but spoke at length about the importance of U.S. alliances that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has called into question.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Center for a New American Security, Carter began his remarks by saying he wouldn't actually comment on the elections.

"And the reason for that is, the United States has a longstanding practice, tradition, and principle that our department, our military, and our security leaders stand apart from the electoral process," he said. "So I'm extremely careful not to comment on the election ... except to simply say that our department will run a smooth and orderly transition, as it did in 2008."

Read the rest here.

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:

The Senate Armed Services Committee will consider two nominations at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G-50. Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser has been nominated to be commander of U.S. Africa Command, and Lt. Gen. Joseph Lengyel has been nominated to be chief of the National Guard Bureau. http://1.usa.gov/RmEbep

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will have a hearing on "The Ideology of ISIS" at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Dirksen 342. http://1.usa.gov/1W3MyJE

The staff directors of the House and Senate Armed Services committees will talk about the National Defense Authorization Act at noon Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute. http://bit.ly/1XZxsGW

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider nominations for the ambassadors to Lithuania and Kuwait at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Dirksen 419. http://1.usa.gov/23gq8pQ

ICYMI:

-- The Hill: Feds reverse course, release full Orlando shooter transcript

-- The Hill: Senate votes down closing 'terror loophole'

-- The Hill: Week ahead: Defense talks to zero in on war fund

-- CNN: Military aircraft accidents costing lives, billions of dollars

-- Stars and Stripes: Veterans groups blast Senate plan to scale back preferential hiring

-- Reuters: North Korea says not to free U.S. citizens until former detainee stops 'babbling'

 

Please send tips and comments to Kristina Wong, kwong@thehill.com, and Rebecca Kheel, rkheel@thehill.com 

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