The House will take up a CR next week in order to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month. In addition, the debt limit is another issue that isn’t going away as The United States could default on its obligations in October if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling. Democrats are deciding how to lift or suspend the limit on their own after Republicans said they would not join in the effort. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate Minority Leader, said Tuesday, “It’s hard being in the majority. They are the ones who will raise the debt limit. Do you guys think I’m bluffing? … I’ve said the same thing to several intermediaries who’ve come around.” According to an account from Punchbowl News, “We further asked McConnell if he would consider voting for a clean debt ceiling increase — meaning if Democrats tried to pass it delinked from the government funding process. Democrats’ leading option is to attach a debt-limit boost to the continuing resolution funding federal agencies beyond Sept. 30, a proposal the House could vote on as soon as next week.” McConnell said, “That’s their problem. I’m not voting [for a debt limit increase]. How many different ways do I need to say this? … I hate to say ‘Read my lips’ because that didn’t work out too well for the guy who said that. So I won’t use that particular terminology.” McConnell has warned Democratic leaders and the White House since July that they should include a debt-limit increase in their $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. There are no roll call votes will occur in the Senate for the rest of this week.
The exact words of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on the absence of SecDef before his committee to testify on Afghanistan Tuesday: “His decision not to appear before the committee will affect my personal judgment on Department of Defense nominees.” The threat from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-ME), member, SASC, to not consent to any DoD or State nominations means he “cannot fully block any nominee, but he can force procedural delays that could snarl other Senate business and slow appointees from starting in their new posts.” Hawley’s exact words on the Senate floor Tuesday were, “Let me be clear, I will not consent to the nomination of any nominee for the Department of Defense or for the Department of State until Secretary Austin and Secretary Blinken and Jake Sullivan resign.”
SA – In advance of Saturday’s rally in Washington, installation of fencing around the Capitol will begin as early as today. The fence will run between Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue from First Street in the West to First Street in the East.
On the NDAA, according to Punchbowl News, “Republicans are going to use the annual National Defense Authorization Act to try to handcuff the administration from normalizing relations with the Taliban. We expect this to be one of the major fights in the NDAA debate this fall and winter.” Speaking of the NDAA, Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) filed an amendment to the NDAA that would shrink the total authorized spending for the Pentagon to $716 billion, roughly the level proposed by POTUS. Theirs is one of 800 amendments submitted to the NDAA this year.
On the looming CR and debt limit, “Top Democrats will soon have to settle a fiscal stumper: whether to tackle government funding separately from the debt limit, clearing one headache while almost certainly exacerbating another,” according to Politico. “Democratic leaders stress that no decisions have been made on attaching the debt limit to government funding while they weigh their options for dealing with the cap on the nation’s ability to borrow cash.”
FOUR AMENDMENTS DIRECTLY RELATED TO SPACE DOMAIN
According to Breaking Defense, “The Space Force is testing out new software that could not only improve the accuracy of its current system for tracking satellites and dangerous junk in space, but also enable actual tracking in near-real time that would allow the service to keep better tabs on adversary spacecraft seeking to hide from prying eyes.” Full story: https://breakingdefense.com/2021/09/revolutionary-tech-could-allow-near-real-time-space-tracking-company-says/
Air Vice Marshal Harvey Smyth, the head of the United Kingdom’s new Space Directorate, warned at the DSEI 2021 conference on Tuesday “that increased access to space increases the possibility of “space terrorism,” drawing parallels to the way terrorists were able to use commercial aircraft during the 9/11 attacks,” according to Defense News. Smyth is quoted as saying,
“We all have witnessed what happens, and what particularly happens when the air domain became accessible to all — terrorists turned airliners into weapons. If such a trend holds true for space, when will we have to deal with our first example of space terrorism? And are we prepared for such a dramatic strategic shock? The cost of access to space has fallen dramatically throughout this last decade, from $20,000 per kilogram to less than $2,000 today, with an aspiration to get below ten with an end point of $2 per kilogram. Pretty much anyone can now access space, and with this accessibility can come potential threat.”
Smyth also revealed a small part of an upcoming space strategy, “which will clearly lay out the ends, ways and means” of the nation’s approach to the increasingly contested domain, according to reporting from National Defense Magazine. He expects the release of this by the end of this month. Smyth said the MoD’s strategy will outline three main pillars: own, collaborate and access. “Of the three, “collaborate” is of the upmost importance and requires the most attention, he said. “As many space experts have said, ‘space is hard.’ But it’s a lot harder if you’re not in a collaborative relationship,” Smyth said. That includes key allies such as the United States, but also some of the new commercial space companies. Those relationships should evolve beyond the traditional customer-client paradigms of the past, he added.” Full story: https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2021/9/14/uks-upcoming-space-strategy-to-focus-on-collaboration