Drones

$30 Billion Defense Supplemental Duplicates Spending
Pentagon might not need full request from Trump

Trump, left, wants Congress to pass a supplemental spending bill for defense programs that the Pentagon might not need. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Pentagon may not really need the full $30 billion President Donald Trump requested last week for the current fiscal year.

That’s because Congress is already poised to provide a significant portion of the $30 billion in the fiscal 2017 Defense spending bill that the House passed on March 8. So that portion of the supplemental is redundant, congressional and Pentagon officials confirmed to CQ Roll Call.

Rep. Abraham Uses Pilot License to Give Back to Constituents
Louisiana Republican helps children with cancer and with military training

Louisiana Rep. Ralph Abraham boards an airplane to fly a mission for the Coast Guard Auxiliary collecting flood damage information. (Courtesy of Rep. Ralph Abraham’s office)

The sky’s the limit for Rep. Ralph Abraham.

The Louisiana Republican is a pilot, a physician, a veterinarian, and a farmer. He also helps out with the Coast Guard and wants to climb Mount Everest next year.

Pentagon Panel Urges Trump Team to Expand Nuclear Options
Report suggests ‘tailored nuclear option for limited use’

From left, First lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, Vice President Mike Pence, and his wife Karen Pence prepare to review the troops on Inauguration Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A blue-ribbon Pentagon panel has urged the Trump administration to make the U.S. arsenal more capable of “limited” atomic war.

The Defense Science Board, in an unpublished December report obtained by CQ Roll Call, urges the president to consider altering existing and planned U.S. armaments to achieve a greater number of lower-yield weapons that could provide a “tailored nuclear option for limited use.”

U.S. Military Develops Drone That Can Fly Week Straight

Motherboard reports that "while America’s most expensive surveillance drone, the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, can stay aloft for 32 hours, the Pentagon is looking for a drone that can fly nonstop for a week or more at a time, if two recently submitted solicitations are to go by."

"In a solicitation published last November, the Department of Defense (DoD) is calling on contractors to submit designs for a low cost, ultra-long endurance UAV that can perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions for seven days or more. Specifically, the DoD wants to eliminate the need for launching new waves of drones to replace the ones that have run out of fuel and have to return to base."

Military May Purchase Drones We Find in Department Stores

Wired reports that "Tiny drones could scout high-rise buildings and underground tunnels for possible threats to US troops in cities of the future. But instead of spending years cooking up the necessary drone technologies in military research labs, the Pentagon might be better off shopping for the latest civilian drones coming soon to stores."

"US military leaders have discussed the need for a new generation of scout drones for some time. After all, kicking down doors is a dirty and dangerous business for US troops trying to clear enemy-held buildings. It would be far safer to deploy diminutive drone buddies to provide an initial peek inside, and identify any potential threats."

U.S. Military Seeks Missile That Delivers Explosive Drones to a Target

Business Insider reports that "the US military wants a missile that can carry explosive-packed drones to a target hundreds of miles away, according to a contract solicitation from the Pentagon."

"Earlier this month, the DoD announced it was soliciting proposals for this new missile system, which would be fired by the Army's existing MGM-140 Tactical Missile System or the M-270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. But unlike traditional armaments, the Army wants this missile packed with unmanned quad-copters that will be released, fly to their target, land, and blow themselves up."

A Look Inside the Capitol: Lawmakers Prep for Inauguration Ceremony
Lawmakers were prepping for the rain and hoping for unity

California Rep. Doug LaMalfa arrives for President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As New York Republican Rep. Peter King gaveled in the House chamber at 10 a.m. for a quick pro forma session, there was an abnormal crowd of members in the chamber for what is typically a boring procedural necessity.

But on this Friday, a few hundred members gathered in the back of the chamber and lined up by class for their turn to exit the Capitol building and take their places on an erected platform to witness the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States.

How New Generation of Drones Was Videotaped

60 Minutes reports that "a new generation of drones is coming. The U.S. military has used the remotely piloted vehicles for more than 15 years, but now the devices are capable of flying missions autonomously — and in a swarm."

Spending Bill Could Allow Trump to Fulfill Border Wall Promise
2006 law authorized, but didn’t fully fund, border infrastructure

A family talks through the United States-Mexico border fence that runs through the cities of Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali on the Mexico side. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President-elect Donald Trump might quickly make good on a campaign promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico if Republicans in Congress agree to include the money in a fiscal 2017 spending package, according to media reports.

Trump early Friday said that Congress would have to appropriate money so construction could get underway but it would be paid back, tweeting: “The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!”

Trump Denies Air Force One Threat Is Retaliation for Boeing CEO’s Comments
Budget expert says president-elect's $4-billion estimate right on the money

President-elect Donald Trump is in a feud with Boeing over its replacement program for Air Force One. (Photo via Flickr)

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to keep the existing Air Force One fleet flying into next decade unless Boeing reduces costs on replacement jets, and denied his broadside came after reading critical comments from the company’s CEO.

Trump set off a firestorm Tuesday morning when he — seemingly out of nowhere — tweeted that the cost of the replacement program would hit $4 billion. The social media post ended with two ominous words for Boeing: “Cancel order!”