| June 9, 2014, 5:14 p.m.
The Obama administration stressed Monday that child migrants entering the country illegally must go through deportation proceedings, but continued to avoid answering questions about how many of them actually show up and end up getting deported.
| June 9, 2014, 5 a.m.
Spring budget season is almost over, and the House and Senate have once again placed parochial politics above budget discipline in their consideration of the Pentagon budget. The most extreme example came in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which rejected virtually every cost-cutting measure put forward by the Pentagon, from base closings to retiring unneeded weapons systems. If the House’s actions aren’t reversed, they would bust the current budget caps to the tune of $50 billion over the next five years.
| June 5, 2014, 5 a.m.
One year ago, on June 5, 2013, Edward Snowden revealed that he had provided several reporters with access to documents he had taken from the National Security Agency. The subsequent carefully researched and thoughtfully written stories blew the lid off much of the secrecy that the National Security Agency, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Department of Justice, and the intelligence community had imposed on the communications surveillance in which our government had been engaging.
| June 2, 2014, 5:49 p.m.
Growing up poor as the son of Jewish immigrants in Paterson, New Jersey, Frank R. Lautenberg became a fighter not just for the people of New Jersey, but also for those living in danger many thousands of miles away.
| June 2, 2014, 3:58 p.m.
President Barack Obama ordered the creation of a high-level working group to respond to the recent surge in unaccompanied immigrant children, following congressional criticism that he has neglected to acknowledge the extra money and effort needed to handle the crisis.
| May 30, 2014, 5 a.m.
Americans have a funny penchant for “fixin’ things that ain’t broke.” American voters, in particular, really like to “fix” things. We regularly vote elected officials out of office who are doing a fine job in favor of someone else who seems newer and shinier only to find later that we have chosen badly and have to live with the grim results.
| May 29, 2014, 5 a.m.
Congress is conducting its annual debate over the defense budget and programs in the National Defense Authorization Act. Sadly missing is a debate over the nuclear weapons budget. The United States plans to spend more than $1 trillion over the next thirty years to maintain and modernize its nuclear arsenal. Some of this spending is truly needed and can help ensure that Washington maintains a safe, secure, and effective arsenal to defend itself and its allies. But many of the projects are too expensive or redundant, and out of step with today’s strategic and budgetary environment. Put simply, the United States does not need a penetrating stealth bomber, a new air dropped bomb AND a long-range standoff cruise missile armed with nuclear weapons on top of a new submarine and new ICBM. Priorities have to be set and choice have to be made.
| May 28, 2014, 11:40 a.m.
On America’s southern border, officials have watched for the past few years as a trickle of children crossing the Rio Grande illegally without their parents has turned into a veritable flood. So many kids, in fact, that the issue has triggered a crisis, as Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson had to issue an emergency alert this month establishing a shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to house the thousands of youths entering each week.
| May 23, 2014, 5 a.m.
In the coming days, Egypt will elect a new president. This will be a historic moment for the people of Egypt and an important step in the journey that they began more than three years ago, when millions took to the streets to demand change.
| May 19, 2014, 1:25 p.m.
No matter your position on the Pentagon’s choices regarding force structure, weapons and doctrine, one has to give the building some credit for attempting to face up to the current tough budgetary environment.
| May 19, 2014, 1:15 p.m.
I was proud to celebrate recently with thousands of Boeing Co. aerospace workers in St. Louis and across the country as they delivered the 100th EA-18G Growler to the Navy, on time and on budget. That’s a feat in and of itself at a time when other defense contracts get more attention for cost overruns and delays.
| May 16, 2014, 3:12 p.m.
Russian tanks rolling toward Ukraine, citizens being attacked and buildings burning to the ground. One would think these images came from the days after World War II, but sadly history is repeating itself.
| May 15, 2014, 5 a.m.
On Thursday, May 8 at 2 p.m., in Cannon 311, my expert colleagues and I testified in an open hearing on the threat of electromagnetic pulse to critical infrastructures. The hearing will prepare members of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies to consider a vitally important bill, arguably the most important bill before this Congress — the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (HR 3410) — that would prepare the nation for a natural or nuclear EMP catastrophe.
| May 14, 2014, 5 a.m.
Reaching a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran faces formidable challenges. As negotiators meet in Vienna this week to begin drafting a long-term deal that will limit Iran’s nuclear program, they do not need the U.S. Congress throwing additional roadblocks onto the path.
| May 8, 2014, 5 a.m.
For many in Congress, Yemen evokes a predominantly negative image, one characterized by al-Qaida. Recent targeting of German and Russian nationals in Sana’a doesn’t help. Preparing for my recent trip there, I was warned about kidnapping. While kidnapping of foreigners is not uncommon, my time in Yemen offers a more positive perspective.
| May 7, 2014, 12:32 p.m.
The process for shedding excess military infrastructure is unlike any other in government.
| May 6, 2014, 3:01 p.m.
The House Armed Services Committee is opening the door ever so slightly to the possibility of another Base Closure and Realignment Commission, laying the preliminary groundwork in its version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill for the Pentagon to begin the lengthy and painful process of shuttering unneeded installations.
| May 6, 2014, 10:59 a.m.
Any doubts surrounding Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential ambitions were cleared up this past week when he proposed the “Stand With Israel Act” (S. 2265). However, the bill’s good ideas are not new, and its new ideas are not good. The legislation calls for all U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to be suspended until it publicly recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, purged everyone from the security services with ties to terrorism and renounced terrorism more generally, stopped supporting anyone responsible for anti-Israeli or anti-American incitement, publicly committed to no longer fighting Israel, and honored it’s previous diplomatic commitments. Demanding the PA recognize Israel’s right to exist is a good idea, but it’s already on the books; threatening to cut off aid from the PA for a litany of reasons is a new idea, but would likely backfire.
| May 6, 2014, 5 a.m.
Iran has maintained its constant place as a generator of trouble on the international scene. When concern over Iran’s nuclear program subsides temporarily, concern about its meddling in countries in the region surface; when those concerns subside, its state sponsorship of terrorism takes the center stage. Suppression and flagrant violations of human rights, the regime’s main tools of governance, have a permanent place in the litany of concerns.
| May 6, 2014, 5 a.m.
Right now, we send millions of dollars — and potentially American jobs — overseas when we purchase footwear for the brave men and women serving our country. But Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine H. Fox recently called me to let me know about a shift in Department of Defense policy as it relates to the procurement of athletic footwear for our service members — and the decision is nothing short of a huge win for American manufacturers.