Senate passes bill to avert government shutdown, sends to House

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AT LAST — NDAA CONFERENCE REPORT LIKELY THIS WEEK:.

A temporary government spending bill is expected to clear the House and Senate just before a midnight deadline on Wednesday, averting a government shutdown and providing funding until December 11. One of those procedures is that the House of Representatives has to wait a day after the Rules Committee produces rules for a floor debate before a vote on the bill can occur, according to the Hill.

The legislation authorizes an increase in defense spending by padding a war-fighting account with an extra $38.3 billion — money that’s not subject to limits Congress has imposed on military and domestic spending. Adam Smith of Washington state, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services, says he’s been told the bill will be coming up on the floor this week, as House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) appear to have reached agreement on the issues that pushed the NDAA into the fall. The measure would retain and, in some cases, increase current restrictions on transferring detainees out of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Amidst leadership turmoil in the House – Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced he would resign at the end of October – the Senate advanced a bill on Monday to fund the government through December 11. Moreover, it bans detainees from being transferred to Yemen, Libya, Somalia or Syria, although congressional staff members said it didn’t appear the administration had any intention of transferring any to these volatile nations. TALIBAN ON THE OFFENSIVE — CAPTURE KEY NORTHERN AFGHANISTAN CITY IN MAJOR SETBACK, via The Associated Press: “The Taliban captured the strategic northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Monday in a multi-pronged attack involving hundreds of fighters, the first time the insurgents have seized a major urban area since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. Conservatives have railed against the female health clinic ever since videos emerged allegedly showing representatives discussing the sale of fetal tissue from abortion procedures.

HAPPENING TODAY — CLAPPER, WORK, ROGERS TALK CYBER: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work and NSA Director and U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), also a Republican presidential candidate, took to the floor on Tuesday and urged leaders to “show courage,” and be willing to “let the spending expire.” Passage of the stopgap measure buys lawmakers several weeks to cut deals on a long-term government funding bill, a hike to the debt ceiling, highway construction funding, and renewal of the Export-Import Bank.

It requires the Pentagon to report on whether the Iraqi government becomes inclusive of the country’s ethnic groups and states that based on that report, the president can decide to directly arm Sunnis or Kurds. —authorizes $600 million for the beleaguered U.S.-led program to train and equip moderate elements of the Syrian opposition force, but requires the defense secretary to get congressional approval each time he wants to use money for the program. —directs the defense secretary to issue a policy to empower individual post commanders to decide whether members of the armed forces can carry government-issued or personal fire arms at military installations, reserve centers and recruiting centers. This provision follows shootings in Little Rock, Arkansas; Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Fort Hood, Texas. “I’m glad the United States of America will never again to be able to do things that they did before, which was such a terrible stain on our national honor,” McCain said. And the chairman says he hopes to hear more on “the dimensions of this challenge and the policy decisions that still haven’t been made.” “In other words, we have still not made a decision in case of a cyberattack whether you try to preempt it, whether you try to attack it or whether you retaliate,” McCain told reporters Monday. “They still haven’t come up with a policy. Here we have 30,000 people over there at NSA without a policy for how to act.” OFF TO THE RACES — ELBOWS FLY AS LAWMAKERS JOSTLE FOR LEADERSHIP POSTS, via POLITICO’s Jake Sherman: “As he launched a bid for House majority leader, Rep.

At the time, an agreement was reached to pay active military personnel and back wages for furloughed employees, plus small funding measures for high-profile functions, including veterans’ services, FEMA and supplements for women and children, among other temporary fixes. But McCain insisted that is a budget fight that should not be fought on his legislation. “I don’t think we can wait till December to pass a defense authorization bill,” said Thornberry. “I’m hopeful that we can pass this bill and I’m hopeful that the president will agree to it.” The defense policy bill is one of the few bipartisan measures that Congress has cleared and the president has signed into law for more than a half-century.

Jack Reed, the top Democrats on the defense committees, signed the conference report of the final bill. “This bill will exacerbate budgetary dysfunction and hamper our military at a time when it desperately needs reliable support,” Smith said. “Band-Aids and budget tricks will no longer work. — DEFENSE HAWKS MAY JOIN TOGETHER TO OPPOSE PRICE: Price, the House Budget Committee chairman, was a key player in the Republican budget fight over defense spending, battling against defense hawks who wanted to boost war funding to raise the defense topline. Patrick Henry (R-N.C.), for whip. “I am adamantly behind Scalise and McHenry moving up,” Turner told Morning D. “They’re the ones who delivered the full funding for defense, while there was major opposition in the Budget Committee. That much seemed clear after Monday’s action at the United Nations in New York, where Obama and Putin sat uncomfortably together at a lunch, then met privately for a 90-minute session which appeared to yield no breakthroughs on the major differences between them.

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