Ryan-Murray Budget Deal Announced To Remove Defense Cuts

By: Wednesday December 11, 2013 5:56 am

Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray announced a budget deal yesterday. The deal replaces $63 billion in sequester cuts over two years and cuts an additional $23 billion in long term deficits. The deal will restore defense spending. The funding comes from increased fees for air travel and cuts to federal worker pension programs. [...]

Pentagon Slows Burn Rate As Budget Conflict Looms

By: Tuesday January 22, 2013 6:21 am

The budget battles in Congress have an interesting, if not wholly unexpected casualty, the Defense Department. Due to budget uncertainty DoD has been forced to slow down its notoriously extravagant contracting process: Speaking to soldiers in Vicenza, Italy, last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta explained the Pentagon’s “burn rate” — the speed at which the [...]

Plan B Morphs Into a Conservative Wish List

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 10:45 am

House Republicans will wait until tonight to pass “Plan B,” and while I think ultimately it will pass, the reason they’re waiting so long is that they have to figure out what to put into it to get conservative votes. Erick Son of Erick has a whip list of 34 no votes and 12 leaners, [...]

Pro-Israel Right Gangs Up on Chuck Hagel to Sink Defense Secretary Nomination

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 7:00 am

The fury with which neoconservative pro-Israel groups have struck out at Chuck Hagel’s imminent nomination as the Secretary of Defense is both striking and completely expected. There is such a thing as learned behavior. Many of the same groups spoke out against Susan Rice, and they succeeded in getting her to withdraw consideration for Secretary [...]

Report: Former GOP Senator Chuck Hagel To Be Nominated as Secretary of Defense

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 11:45 am

Hans Nichols at Bloomberg reports that former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran and one of the few early GOP converts against the Iraq War, is the leading candidate to replace Leon Panetta at the Department of Defense. Hagel, who served as an enlisted Army infantryman in Vietnam, has passed the vetting process at [...]

Strategic Plotting for the Fiscal Slope: How Democrats Could Find Their Way Out of the Box

By: Monday December 10, 2012 12:59 pm

I think Brian Beutler has a pretty good summation of why we’re talking about social insurance cuts when the White House appears to have leverage: …in three weeks, tax rates will go up for everybody with or without any concessions from the White House [...] That’s the single most important fact to know about the [...]

The Deliberate Confusion on the Fiscal Slope

By: Friday October 26, 2012 7:45 am

Is the threat of the fiscal slope already hurting the economy? The GDP estimate shows business investment slowing, but that’s been a relatively permanent condition since the Great Recession (since before it, according to some analysts). Every now and again you get reports that the potential for fiscal cutbacks and resulting uncertainty has cost America [...]

The Two Trillion Dollar Question: What Would Mitt Romney Spend on the Military?

By: Tuesday October 23, 2012 7:45 am

To the extent that there is a difference in foreign policy between the two Presidential candidates at this point, it’s that Mitt Romney wants to implement the same exact policies as Barack Obama, but just spend $2 trillion more on defense contracting to carry it out. The $2 trillion number derives from Romney’s vow, listed [...]

Obama: Sequester Cuts to Defense “Will Not Happen”

By: Tuesday October 23, 2012 6:16 am

My understanding of the word “debate” is that it refers to a situation where opposing individuals who disagreed with one another took up contrary positions and argued their side against the other. So maybe the better phrase for what happened last night would be something like “mutual admiration society.” But amid lines like “I agree [...]

Romney to Call for Intervention in Syria, Libya in Foreign Policy Speech

By: Monday October 8, 2012 7:00 am

In a speech today at the Virginia Military Institute, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will commit to arming Syrian rebels, and will attribute the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi to the “same forces that attacked our homeland on September 11th, 2001,” which under the still-active Authorization to Use Military Force commits the United [...]

Defense-Minded Senators Broach Idea of “Balanced” Solution to Avoid Sequester

By: Tuesday September 25, 2012 6:16 am

A curious coalition has come together to petition the Senate leadership of both parties to work on a bipartisan deal to avoid the sequester, the automatic cuts to defense and discretionary spending. Six senators, three in each party, wrote the letter to Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. It’s mostly generic, but the identity of those [...]

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