Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps

Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps
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THE TOPLINE: The Senate on Tuesday rejected an effort to force President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE to end the U.S. military's support for Saudi Arabia's bombing operations in Yemen.

Senators voted 55-44 to table the resolution, effectively killing it.

The resolution, spearheaded by Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeEx-college classmate accuses Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Reexamining presidential power over national monuments MORE (R-Utah), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE (I-Vt.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyWant to improve health care? Get Americans off of their couches Situation in Yemen should lead us to return to a constitutional foreign policy Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war MORE (D-Conn.), would require Trump to withdraw any troops in "or affecting" Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al Qaeda.

Republicans that voted against tabling the measure included Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsKavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report Dems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage MORE (Maine), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesMontana lawmakers cheer recommendation to ban mining north of Yellowstone Congress passes bill to require Senate campaign filings to be made electronically Congress just failed our nation’s veterans when it comes to medical marijuana MORE (Mont.), Mike Lee (Utah), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranGoogle says it continues to allow apps to access Gmail user data McConnell: Sessions should stay as attorney general Tougher Russia sanctions face skepticism from Senate Republicans MORE (Kansas) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulA Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too Conservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Senate approves 4B spending bill MORE (Ky.).

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Democrats Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsJudiciary Democrat calls for additional witnesses to testify on Kavanaugh Kavanaugh allegations could be monster storm brewing for midterm elections      Sunday shows preview: White House officials on offensive in wake of anonymous NY Times op-ed MORE (Del.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Ten years later: Wounds run deep from 2008 crash Attorneys general races in spotlight as parties build bench, fight feds MORE (Nev.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination MORE (Ind.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampGOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Heitkamp knocks GOP challenger for 'disturbing' comments on Kavanaugh allegations MORE (N.D.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinGOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Cook Political Report moves Texas Senate race to ‘toss-up’ MORE (W.Va.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints Dem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press Booming economy has Trump taking a well-deserved victory lap MORE (N.J.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNelson campaign to donate K from Al Franken group to charity Political shenanigans mask true problems in Puerto Rico The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE (Fla.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedNew York Times: Trump mulling whether to replace Mattis after midterms Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war Senators press Trump administration on Yemen civil war MORE (R.I.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseKavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Dem vows to probe 'why the FBI stood down' on Kavanaugh Senate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh MORE (R.I.). voted with the majority to table the measure.

The vote marks a victory for the administration, which lobbied hard against the resolution.

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump identifies first soldier remains from North Korea | New cyber strategy lets US go on offense | Army chief downplays talk of 'Fort Trump' Pompeo backed continued US support in Yemen war over objections from staff: report Stand with veterans instead of predatory for-profit colleges MORE urged Republicans to oppose the resolution during a closed-door lunch just hours ahead of the vote. And administration officials briefed all senators late last week to tout the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

The United States has provided support for the Saudi campaign in Yemen's years-long civil war, including military advisers helping Saudi forces target enemies in Yemen for attack and U.S. planes refueling Saudi-led bombers on combat missions.

But senators have signaled growing concerns about the level of civilian casualties. The United Nations estimates that 10,000 people have been killed.

The Hill's Jordain Carney has more here.

 

DEM IRAQ VETS RENEW PUSH FOR WAR AUTHORIZATION: The vote comes the same day that Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthDems should run as economic progressives, says ex-Obama strategist Democrats must reconcile party factions to raise blue wave odds Senate Dems want DOJ review of Giuliani's work for foreign entities MORE (D-Ill.) and Rep. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoOne year later: Puerto Rico battles with bureaucracy after Maria Grassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Arizona voters like Kyl but few think he'll stick around MORE (D-Ariz.), both Iraq War veterans, used the 15th anniversary of the U.S. invasion to reaffirm a push for Congress to take up a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF). 

"I don't feel like overall Congress has learned it's lesson, and I think most people would rather just keep their heads down and not have this vote," Duckworth told reporters.

Gallego said he think Congress better understands the consequences of military action since the Iraq War, but agreed with Duckworth that lawmakers haven't acted on those lessons.

"I certainly think there has been a better understanding of how military adventurism can go wrong and in what we saw happen in Iraq because we went under false premises and then we ended up not really having a good plan about what to do and how to exit and how to stabilize a country," he said. "So that's a lesson that now Congress has learned."

The Trump administration cites the 2001 AUMF passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks as legal justification for a slew of current military operations, as the Obama administration did before it. To a lesser extent, officials also cite the 2002 AUMF that authorized the Iraq War.

Some lawmakers have been pushing for years to repeal those two AUMFs and pass a new one more tailored to the world today, but their efforts have consistently stalled amid partisan disputes about whether to impose constraints on time, ground troops and geography.

The Hill's Rebecca Kheel has the story here.

 

TOP GENERAL: NOT THE 'RIGHT' TIME TO CREATE SPACE FORCE: The head of U.S. Strategic Command on Tuesday told lawmakers that now is not the "right" time to create a separate military space branch. 

"I think that someday we'll have a space corps or space force in this country. But I don't think the time is right for that right now," Gen. John Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

President Trump last week surprised military leaders when he announced the possibility of a "Space Force."

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) - who last year opposed a House move to establish a space corps within the Air Force – made it clear during the hearing that he was not a fan of the proposal.

"I'm not too keen on ripping space out of the Air Force and creating a space corps," Nelson said, before asking Hyten about his position on the matter.

"I love the fact that [Trump] embraces the fact that we need to have a future that looks at this warfighting domain," Hyten replied.

Read the rest here. 

 

AIR FORCE CHIEF WANTS NEW APPROACH TO RECRUITING WOMEN: Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Tuesday the military needs to change the way it talks about the idea of service if it hopes to recruit and retain more women.

"We're, I think, trying to change a little bit the way we talk and think about who the protectors are in this country, because I think sometimes the way in which we talk about the services may appeal more to boys than to girls," she told the House Armed Services Committee. "And that's important, the way we talk about these things.

"If I asked everyone in this room to think, just close your eyes for a second and think about the most protective person you know in your life, someone who would do anything to keep you safe," Wilson continued, before pausing. "Half the people in this room are thinking about their moms. We are the protectors. That's what the military does. We serve to protect the rest of you, and that's a very natural place for a woman to be."

Wilson, who served in the Air Force after graduating in 1982 from the U.S. Air Force Academy's third class to include women, was responding to a question from Rep. Susan DavisSusan Carol DavisWomen poised to take charge in Dem majority Dems demand answers on Pentagon not recognizing Pride Month 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 (D-Calif.) about how to better retain women in the military. 

Read more here. 

 

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:

The Senate Intelligence Committee will have an open hearing on election security at 10 a.m. at Hart Senate Office Building, room 216. 

The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on state and nonstate actor influence operations with testimony from former officials at 10 a.m. at Rayburn House Office Building, room 2118. 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for the nominees to be ambassador to South Sudan and assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs at 10 a.m. at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 419. 

Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee will have a hearing on challenges for Lebanon with testimony from outside experts at 2 p.m. at Dirksen 419. 

House Armed Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on ground force modernization with testimony from Army and Marines officers at 2 p.m. at Rayburn 2118. 

House Foreign Affairs Committee subpanel will have a hearing on China's foreign influence operations with testimony from outside experts at 2 p.m. at Rayburn 2167. 

Another Foreign Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on a potential U.S.-Saudi Arabia nuclear cooperation agreement with testimony from outside experts at 2 p.m. in Rayburn 2172. 

The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee will have a hearing on the administration's fiscal 2019 budget proposal at 2 p.m. at Russell Senate Office Building, room 418. 

Senate Armed Services subcommittee will have a hearing on ballistic missile defense with testimony from Pentagon officials at 2:30 p.m. at Russell 222. 

Another Senate Armed Services subcommittee will have a hearing on Navy shipbuilding programs with testimony from Pentagon officials at 2:30 p.m. at Russell 232A. 

House Armed Services subpanel will hold a hearing on military personnel posture with testimony from Navy, Air Force, Marines and Army officers at 3:30 p.m. at Rayburn 2212.

 

ICYMI:

-- The Hill: US, South Korea plan resumption of military drills

-- The Hill: Senate GOP: Legislation to protect Mueller not needed

-- The Hill: Team leader warned he didn't have right equipment, intel prior to deadly Niger attack: report

-- The Hill: Trump easing exports of lethal drones to allies: report

-- The Hill: Trump moving toward first Gitmo prisoner transfer: report

-- The Hill: Trump faces backlash after congratulating Putin on election win

-- The Hill: McCain rips Trump's congratulatory call to Putin as an insult to Russian people

-- The Hill: Opinion: 15 years after the invasion of Iraq, still zero accountability for the war

-- Defense News: Air Force Secretary defends clampdown on public engagements

 

Coming up this week, The Hill's Ellen Mitchell will be moderating a conversation with retired Gen. David Petraeus for the Veterans in Global Leadership's annual fundraiser, Thursday evening at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce building in Washington. Tickets and information for the event can be found here.