Tag: Congress

The Air Force Wants to Retire Aging Aircraft. It Will Have to Get Past Congress First

For some U.S. Air Force leaders, retiring the A-10 Warthog close-air support aircraft was a simple decision. Like many of the service’s aircraft, the A-10, best known for its iconic Gatling gun designed to shred tanks, was wearing out in 2014 after years of providing cover for ground troops in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. So the service devised a plan to begin phasing it out in 2015. Retiring the A-10 would have lowered the average age of the service’s plane inventory, which was climbing toward 27 years. It would also have freed up funds to invest in new aviation ... Read more

The Coming Constitutional Crisis Over Iran

Last Thursday, the Senate joined the House in passing a resolution dramatically restricting President Trump’s military campaign against Iran. The action by both chambers of Congress now forces a fundamental constitutional question to the fore: Does Trump have the constitutional authority to veto Congress’s command? The president’s lawyers will predictably say that the Supreme Court has already answered this question with an authoritative Yes.  They are mistaken. In fact, neither Congress nor the Court has squarely confronted the veto issue during the past half-century. But it must be seriously debated when the final version of the Iranian war powers resolution ... Read more

Friday News Roundup — February 21, 2020 – Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress

Ethan Brown Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Claudio Tejada/Army Recent entries in this space have identified and elaborated on the emerging Command and Control system of systems currently being tested by the Department of Defense, specifically looking at rapid information sharing across the spectrum of operations. This entry will continue the overall theme of force management and execution, but through the prism of recent comments by Gen. John Hyten, recently appointed Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. In a recent interview, Gen. Hyten coined a phrase which encapsulates the strategic vision of the future warfighting capabilities of the US Military: “All ... Read more

3 Actions Congress Can Take to Reduce Drug Prices

Executive Summary To bring down the high prices of drugs in the United States, Congress should not just focus on regulating prices themselves; it should reform the whole system that governs competition and innovation. Specifically, it should link innovation-friendly policies to price concessions, revamp how long and how thoroughly new drugs enjoy monopoly protection, and remove obstacles to competition from generics. Jana Leon/Getty Images The high prices Americans pay for drugs has emerged as a major health policy concern. A majority of voters in both the Democratic and Republican parties want the government to take action to lower prices, and lawmakers in ... Read more

Navy Looks to Slash $40B To Build Bigger Fleet « Breaking Defense

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly at the unveiling of the new Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Doris “Dorie” Miller (CVN 81) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. PENTAGON: The Navy wants to take $40 billion off its books over the next five years by eliminating commands, slashing logistics costs, and cutting or outsourcing back-end functions. In a Feb. 18 memo, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the “Stem-to-Stern” review will scour the entire department for savings to find accounts that “squeeze out funds we need to build a larger fleet.” The review comes a week after the release of the controversial fiscal ... Read more

Congress and the Pentagon are tussling over US troops in West Africa

The Trump administration might want US troops who have been fighting for years in Western Africa to get out. But a testy argument between the Pentagon and members of Congress over the weekend shows that doing so could be politically difficult for the president. Back in December, multiple reports indicated Defense Secretary Mark Esper was weighing options for a reduction — or even a complete withdrawal — of US service personnel in West Africa. According to a US Africa Command spokesperson, there are currently approximately 1,200 US personnel (including military personnel, civilians, and contractors) in all of West Africa, the ... Read more

Expect 75 Recommendations to Improve Security, Plus Proposed Laws, from Congress’ Cyber Commission

Rep. Jim Langevin says he and his fellow commissioners will propose streamlining Congressional oversight, incident reporting by industry, and more. Come March 11 the Congressionally chartered Cyberspace Solarium Commission will issue an estimated 75 recommendations—including to streamline Congressional oversight and for industry to provide incident reporting—most of which will be accompanied by legislative language, according to the commission’s top staffer. The 14-member commission includes the four lawmakers—from the House and Senate— private-sector leaders, executive-branch agency heads and cybersecurity thinkers working on a strategy to blunt the harm of cyberattacks. They are required by the latest National Defense Authorization Act to issue ... Read more

‘Mere Membership’ in Extremist Groups Doesn’t Spark Military Investigations, Congress Hears – Homeland Security Today

Members of the military who claim membership in white supremacist or other domestic extremist groups have to be active in a group in order to warrant investigation, and even then may face an administrative reprimand but not expulsion, Congress heard this past week. The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel held two panels — one with experts on extremism, and the other with representatives of the armed forces — to discuss the latest Military Times poll of active-duty readers regarding extremism within the ranks. Thirty-six percent of troops who responded said they personally witnessed evidence of white supremacist and ... Read more

Trump’s revenge tour has the House in its sights

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate. But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios. Why it matters: If Trump wins re-election and Republicans are able to hold the Senate and take back the House, Trump will ... Read more

Congress Shouldn’t Obstruct the Trump 5G Plan

Will Congress get in the way of the Trump administration’s quest to keep America safe by ensuring China doesn’t become the world’s gatekeeper of 5G? The American people are about to find out. President Donald Trump recognizes the importance of the U.S. becoming the world’s leader in 5G, both for economic and national security reasons. As Steve Forbes wrote: “Getting to 5G first matters. It is hardly an overstatement to say that the country that wins the race to 5G will have the inside track on becoming the world’s most competitive and prosperous economy.” Indeed, within 15 years, 5G will ... Read more