Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2014

Posts in "Procurement"

November 25, 2014

How the Departure of Chuck Hagel Affects the Defense Agenda

On one level, the exit of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel represents a break from what was before. On another level, nothing on the agenda will change, at least not because of his departure. Full story

November 19, 2014

A Republican Senator’s Missile Defense Wish List Post-Election

ayotte 05 030311 445x318 A Republican Senators Missile Defense Wish List Post Election

Kelley Ayotte listens to opening statements during a 2011 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

With Republicans in charge of the Senate, it could be a new day for missile defense, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire predicted Wednesday. Full story

October 31, 2014

Weekly Recap: Obama National Security Team in Turmoil, ISIS Fight Rolls On

It was an eventful week before the midterm elections, both around the globe and within the United States’ borders. Here’s some of what we covered, and some of what you might have missed elsewhere.

  • Important. We wrote about how ISIS continues to evolve as an organization, as well as how the cost of the war against the group is rising.  We also wrote about how anonymous administration officials keep shooting Democrats in the foot at exactly the time when they need it least.
  • Neat. We provided video of a super soldier suit, plus video of a ride in a U-2 cockpit.
  • Inside the Building. Technocrat had a talk with Chris Calabrese of the Center for Democracy and Technology about the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and dipped into how Orbital Sciences’ rocket explosion could impact military rocket procurement. The Container ran a number of items about airline security.
  • Outside the Building. The New York Times had a splashy story about the Obama administration’s national security and foreign policy team being under duress, filled with anecdotes that generated headlines in and of themselves. One of those was about Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel taking issue with the White House on Syria policy, which the Los Angeles Times then expounded upon in their own piece.

October 30, 2014

Video: In the Cockpit of a U-2 Spy Plane, Up High and Down Low

We recently wrote how it looked like the storied U-2 spy plane would likely avert retirement yet again this year, as well as about how the plane is difficult to land and flies so very, very high. Watch the video above to see what it looks like from the cockpit when the U-2 gets way, way up there, then check out the view from a chase car during the landing.

If you want to watch another U-2 landing as viewed from a chase car, here’s a taste. Then, for another view from 70,000 feet, try here or here, with the second link offering some testimonials from U-2 pilots.

And if you want to read about the U-2′s competition in the Obama fiscal 2015 budget, McClatchy recently penned a feature on the Global Hawk.

October 22, 2014

Globalization and ‘The End of the Military-Industrial Complex’

dw100928038 445x295 Globalization and The End of the Military Industrial Complex

Lynn, as deputy secretary of Defense, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in an undated photo. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly)

William J. Lynn III, the former No. 2 at the Department of Defense, has published a piece in Foreign Affairs headlined “The End of the Military-Industrial Complex.” It is not that his case should be ignored or otherwise discounted; it’s well worth reading. But it does require a caveat, which is mentioned at the end of this post. Full story

Coburn Wastebook: Iron Man Suit, FEMA Golf Courses, Navy Magazines

coburn 067 011414 445x279 Coburn Wastebook: Iron Man Suit, FEMA Golf Courses, Navy Magazines

Sen. Tom Coburn on Jan. 14. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (@tomcoburn) is out with his final edition of his annual Wastebook of government spending, and besides the massages for rabbits and money to watch grass grow, a variety of Defense Department projects and other national security-related programs get the Oklahoma Republican’s sardonic smack. Full story

October 2, 2014

U-2: Here to Stay?

456188390 445x296 U 2: Here to Stay?

Bono, in Italy in September, from the other U2. (Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

I have a story up for CQ Weekly subscribers about the U-2 spy plane, which has endured for decades despite constant debates about its relevance — not unlike the band U2. Full story

September 26, 2014

School Militarization Now a Thing (and Not Just in San Diego)

477270833 445x296 School Militarization Now a Thing (and Not Just in San Diego)

MRAP vehicles sit in the Redistribution Property Accountability Team yard at Kandahar Airfield on March 8 near Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

First came the concerns about militarization of local police spurred by Ferguson, Mo. Next came attention for a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle given to the San Diego Unified School District by the Pentagon. Now the attention has expanded to school militarization nationwide, with a CBS News analysis out Friday. Full story

September 18, 2014

Missile Defense Test Was No “Softball Shot,” Says Boeing

That missile defense test from June, the first successful one in five years? It wasn’t “some softball shot,” as critics allege, according to Boeing officials managing the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense program. And in so far as it was “scripted,” they said, it was only because fully simulating a nuclear missile attack isn’t easy. Full story

Rocket Launch Race Taking Off: Jeff Bezos Vs. Elon Musk

485517059 445x295 Rocket Launch Race Taking Off: Jeff Bezos Vs. Elon Musk

Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. in April. (Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images)

The multibillion dollar battle pitting Elon Musk‘s SpaceX vs. defense industry giants Lockheed Martin/Boeing over Pentagon satellite launch contracts was already one of the most interesting in the national security world, if not all of the federal government. This week, it has gotten even hotter. Full story

September 15, 2014

IG: Missile Defense Agency Could’ve Saved Millions on Contract, Didn’t

1474748 445x296 IG: Missile Defense Agency Couldve Saved Millions on Contract, Didnt

(FILE PHOTO) An unarmed Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (USAF/Getty Images)

[Updated Sept. 16, 11:03 a.m.] If only the Missile Defense Agency had taken a look at some audits, it could’ve saved millions of dollars on a $1 billion contract, according to a Defense Department inspector general report released Monday. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 3:21 p.m.
Budget, Procurement

September 8, 2014

Security Clearance Contractor USIS Rebuffs Edward Snowden Attack (and More)

452723352 445x586 Security Clearance Contractor USIS Rebuffs Edward Snowden Attack (and More)

A man holds up a placard during a protest march outside the American NSA facility “Dagger Complex” in Griesheim near Darmstadt, central Germany on July 26. (Boris Roessler/AFP/Getty Images)

USIS, the biggest federal contractor for background checks for security clearances, had to be happy to get a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services contract worth $190 million recently, because the company had been on a bad news streak. All the contract seemed to do, though, was give ammunition to its critics — including a chorus of them from Capitol Hill — prompting USIS to issue a “myth vs. fact” declaration Monday. Full story

August 18, 2014

Defense Philanthropy, Ukraine Vs. Russia in the Week Ahead

This is the slowest week event-wise of the August congressional recess so far, at least as it pertains to defense and national security. There are, however, a few items of note. Full story

August 15, 2014

Defense Industry Donations and the Alan Grayson Police Militarization Amendment

453575526 445x307 Defense Industry Donations and the Alan Grayson Police Militarization Amendment

A police officer watches over demonstrators protesting the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 13 in Ferguson. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

With images of heavily armed police confronting protesters in Ferguson, Mo., sparking a national debate about police militarization, a campaign finance research organization has released a study showing how much defense industry money House members got before a June 19 vote that rejected Rep. Alan Grayson’s amendment to block military equipment transfers to local law enforcement. The organization, MapLight, found that those who voted against it got 73 percent more in defense industry donations than those who voted in favor.

But there are probably bigger reasons for the vote going the way it did. And the issue could come up again in Congress — Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., promised Friday to review the program before his committee’s fiscal 2015 defense policy bill comes to the floor; Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., has put forward new legislation; and others are calling for hearings. So it’s worth reviewing the motivations for those votes.

Full story

August 13, 2014

Where National Security Is (and Mainly, Isn’t) in 2014 Elections

IA POL14 063 080714 445x296 Where National Security Is (and Mainly, Isnt) in 2014 Elections

Braley helps out on the grill in the Pork Tent at the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Aug. 7. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When Iraq popped up this week as an issue in the Iowa Senate race between Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst based on her comments about troop levels in recent years, it marked something rare: an occasion where a national security debate surfaced in the 2014 elections for purely national security reasons.

Despite a whole host of places around the globe where security is a rising topic in the news — Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Russia — defense and foreign policy has largely been on the sidelines in congressional races. Even when it has been debated, it has usually been  for other reasons, such as how it reflects on President Barack Obama’s performance. But because of that, and more, national security could still play a role in the 2014 elections.

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...