The House Tears Up Plan For Full-Year DoD Budget Within Short Term Continuing Resolution
All Friends of FOD realize operating the Government and particularly the DoD under the continuing resolution process speaks to the acrimony within Congress. As I mentioned in a previous edition of FOD, there had been an attempt to at least stabilize DoD’s much needed FY-18 budget by including a full-year defense spending bill as part of the short-term continuing resolution (CR) for the rest of Government. Defense News is reporting House Republicans are tearing up plans to wed a full-year defense spending bill to a short-term continuing resolution for the rest of government. House Republicans were working to hammer out a new agreement before midnight Friday so they can leave town for the Christmas recess. To avoid a government shutdown, they must successfully factor in what the slim GOP majority in the Senate can pass. Debate over the CR had to be tabled so as to be able to modify and then re-vote for the tax overhaul bill. Even as Republicans took a victory lap Wednesday to celebrate passage of a tax overhaul, a government shutdown loomed as plans for the defense-CR hybrid bill collapsed under the weight of unrelated provisions. Conservative Republicans are said to have withdrawn support for the hybrid CR, in part over its inclusion of an $81 billion disaster relief package. It remains to be seen whether the next CR will deal with other contentious issues like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Veterans Choice Program or an extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. A large enough bloc of assertive House Republican defense hawks and fiscally conservative Freedom Caucus members backed the hybrid defense-CR that House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., allowed it to advance. But if those groups oppose a CR without higher defense spending, Ryan would need Democratic votes to pass the CR. Several House Republicans said they hope to see a “clean” CR, with $5.9 billion in added defense funding requested by the White House — for missile defense, a troop surge in Afghanistan, and repairs for the collision-damaged U.S. Navy destroyers Fitzgerald and John S. McCain. “Leadership’s going back to the drawing board on this one to figure out what they think can pass,” said Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Charlie Dent, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies and co-chair of the moderate Tuesday Group. “I can’t think of a bigger act of political malpractice after a successful tax reform vote than to shut the government down,” Dent said. “Talk about stepping on your own message. Really, how dumb would that be? Hey, but anything is possible around here. This is Congress.”
Friends of FOD – How did you observe the solar eclipse? All the best photos are on the internet, but I enjoyed seeing the solar eclipse in Boise, ID, thanks to Friends of FOD Roger and Glorie. Thanks to both of you! And I also got to do some fishing on the Boise River. Notice I said fishing and not catching. But a good time was had by all. Good stories appreciated.
Another Collision At Sea
USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) an Arleigh Burke-classdestroyer (below left) suffered “significant damage” to the hull after it was involved in a collision at sea with the Liberian-flaggedAlnic MC (below right) off the coast of Malaysia east of the Strait of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing and five were injured following the collision, which happened at 5:24 a.m. Singapore time (5:24 p.m. ET Sunday), according to the Navy’s latest update issued around nine-and-a-half hours later. And the search continues as of August 21st. After the collision the ship, which sustained damage to her port side aft, was able to return to port under her own power. According to United States Navy press release, the breach “resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Initial casualty reports indicate ten sailors missing and five sailors injured. Admiral John M. Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations (below left) has ordered an “operational pause” or safety stand down for a day to “include,
but not be limited to, looking at operational tempo, trends in personnel, materiel, maintenance and equipment.”
The Strait of Malacca is one of the most heavily transited bodies of water in the world, with more than 80,000 vessels moving through it annually, roughly one third of all oceanic transits. US Naval vessels usually have their best bridge team on duty for the transit. I noted in the 11 through 15 August edition of FOD that a military band is standard for that all important change of command. I would venture to say the yet unannounced, change of command for the McCain and perhaps even Commander of Destroyer Squadron 15 will not need a band. As you’ll recall, the destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) was involved in the June 17 with the Philippine-flagged merchant ship ACX Crystal, a container ship, off the coast of Japan resulted in the death of seven sailors. Fitzgerald’s commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief have been relieved of their duties aboard Fitzgerald. I’m thinking the commanding officer of Destroyer Squadron 15, CAPT Jeffrey A. Bennett II might be looking for another job.
The group led by Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush to purchase the Miami Marlins for an estimated $1.3 billion have lost an investor. Bloomberg reported today that an investor who had been in talks to contribute $150 million to the $1.3 billion bid was unable to reconcile the terms of his investment. When news of their accepted bid was first reported last month, it was said the ownership group included at least five investors. I have decided to step up to the plate and bail Jeter and Jeb out of their predicament. I have communicated my offer of $1000.00 to make the deal go through. And while I’ll share it with only Friends of FOD; because Jeter’s number 2 was just retired, I’m willing to go as high as $222.22 over that $1000.00 offer. I’m only asking for 2.22% ownership, plus two seats in a really good box forever and I’ll also generously agree to be the bat guy when the Yankees come to town. I’m expecting a reply very soon. So I’m keeping my phone next to me all night, because I know these kinds of deals require personal involvement to make them happen.