Daily on Defense: Budget battles loom, NDAA reconciliation begins, Tuberville’s latest, hopes for American hostage release, V-22 crash

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SCHUMER: 'BOTTOM LINE … WE NEED A BIPARTISAN BILL': A showdown is looming next week when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to put President Joe Biden's $105 billion supplemental funding request to a vote on the Senate floor.

"There are a number of things we have to do at once: deliver aid to Israel, aid to Ukraine, humanitarian assistance to help innocent victims in Gaza, and military capabilities in the Indo-Pacific," Schumer said at a news conference yesterday. "All these national security issues are related and should move together … America doesn't have the luxury to pick and choose national security threats that befall us. We must address all of them, all of them, because our adversaries, Russia, China, … Iran … are investing heavily in them too."

While Schumer continues to complain about Republican insistence that the supplemental bill includes a tightening of asylum policies at the southwest border, some Democrats also want to attach strings to the bill that would dictate how Israel could spend military aid in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

"I think it's ridiculous," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a dueling news conference. "Our relationship with Israel is the closest national security relationship we have with any country in the world. And to condition, in effect, our assistance to Israel on their meeting our standards, it seems to me, is totally unnecessary. This is a democracy, a great ally of ours, and I do not think we need to condition the support that hopefully we'll give to Israel very soon."

"Look, the bottom line is we need a bipartisan bill, and we're working hard to get it," Schumer said. "Republicans are making it difficult, but we're going to keep at it."


McCONNELL: 'THERE WON'T BE A BILL' WITHOUT BORDER REFORM: "There has been no more enthusiastic supporter of a comprehensive supplemental than me," McConnell said, but warned that GOP border initiatives must be included in the bill.

"By any objective standard, the Biden border strategy has been a complete and utter failure. Right on the heels of, you know, record-breaking months in the last three months, it's reported now that October is the worst October literally on record, 240,000 people apprehended trying to come into the country illegally, including 13, 13 on the terrorist watch list," McConnell said. "I called the president last week to make sure he understood that there wouldn't be a bill without a credible effort to get on top of our disastrous southern border situation."

"Democrats are working to have a good faith conversation with Republicans on what both sides can agree on the border," Schumer said. "But you can know one thing for sure, that it's the Republicans holding this up by their insistence on an extraneous and partisan issue, where there's always difficulty in coming to agreement on."

"Compromise never means getting your dream bill. It means listening to the other side, making tough decisions, and writing a bill you can actually pass and get signed into law and that will make a difference for folks back at home," said Patty Murray (D-WA), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "I hope our colleagues in the House will spare us drama and dysfunction and further brinkmanship. It's not only unnecessary, but it is deeply dangerous. We may not agree on everything, but we can get something done if we put partisanship and poison pills aside."

KAINE: 'TRYING TO FIND A BALANCE': Schumer has not committed to include the conditions on aid for Israel that some members of his caucus are seeking. "There are different views on that, and we're going to have to have a discussion with the caucus and the administration," Schumer said. "But above all, we've got to pass the four bills. That's the No. 1 North Star — Israel, Ukraine, Indo-China, and humanitarian aid.

"What we're grappling with is we want to make sure Israel has the ability to defend itself against Hamas, but this shouldn't be a war against Gazans or Palestinians," Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) told CNN. "We're trying to look at aid to Israel in a way that meets that balance where Israel can defend itself against Hamas, but we care a lot about the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians. We care about minimizing civilian suffering. And so, we're trying to find a balance in the package on this."

"The conditions language, I think, is a little bit of a red herring," Kaine said. "We don't do budget bills and just do blank checks. If I was doing a budget bill for the Department of Education, it would clarify how the money was to be used. And so, I think you will see an aid package for Israel that will be robust, but that will try to accomplish numerous goals, defend against Hamas, provide humanitarian aid, and minimize civilian suffering."

"Remember, people who live in Gaza are under the thumb of Hamas. They're not the same as Hamas," he said. "And we need to make sure that we're protecting civilians to the best degree we can."


Good Wednesday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre's Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) and edited by Conrad Hoyt. Email here with tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. Sign up or read current and back issues at DailyonDefense.com. If signing up doesn't work, shoot us an email and we'll add you to our list. And be sure to follow me on Threads and/or on X @jamiejmcintyre



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HAPPENING TODAY: The leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, which pride themselves on being an island of bipartisanship in a sea of congressional rancor, meet today to begin the process of reconciling House and Senate versions of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, the annual must-pass defense policy bill that outlines how the Pentagon can spend its money.

The 9:30 a.m. session, known as a 'pass the gavel' ceremony, will be attended by Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Reps. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Adam Smith (D-WA), chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. The leaders will make opening statements before going into a closed session to begin negotiations.

"The NDAA is critical to our national security and our military readiness, and I look forward tomorrow with meeting with my House colleagues in person to begin the process of negotiating a final vote which we can bring to both chambers," Reed said yesterday. "We've already made good progress to that end, working with our staffs and working together with my colleagues in the House and my ranking member, Senator Wicker."

"We have before us an NDAA that addresses long-term challenges posed by China and Russia and other adversaries," Reed said. "It's a priority of both parties to get this legislation completed."

TUBERVILLE: 'I GOT Y'ALL INTO THIS MESS, I'M GONNA GET YOU OUT': As his fellow Republicans have grown increasingly frustrated and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appears to have the votes to end his blockade of military promotions, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is reportedly seeking a face-saving way out.

According to a social media post by Andrew Desiderio of Punchbowl News, Tuberville told his Republican colleagues in a closed-door lunch yesterday, "Listen, everyone. I got y'all into this mess. I'm gonna get you out."

"People are just getting exhausted," Desiderio quoted one Republican as saying, adding it's unclear what Tuberville is thinking. "He's all but acknowledged his final off-ramp (NDAA) is a no-go because the conferees won't get to vote on the House provision rescinding the DOD abortion policy."

"Just before the Thanksgiving break, the Senate Rules Committee voted to approve a standing order resolution that would allow for a bipartisan majority of senators to override Senator Tuberville's blockade," Schumer said yesterday. "This resolution offers every member of the Senate a chance to vote to either support Senator Tuberville's ploy or overcome his reckless blockade, and I have confidence that senators from both parties will support this resolution."

BUT NO AMERICANS: Today could be the last day for the release of hostages abducted by Hamas as the second day of a two-day extension of a temporary truce comes to a close. Yesterday, Hamas released 12 more hostages — ten Israelis and two Thai nationals — in exchange for 30 Palestinian women and minors who were being held in Israeli prisons. Despite Biden administration hopes that two American women would be included in the exchange, there were no Americans on the list.

In an interview on CNN, former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett suggested the absence of Americans was a "random" result of the process.

"From Israel's perspective, we don't make a distinction between the Israelis that are in captivity and have been kidnapped by Hamas. Regardless of their particular foreign citizenship, we don't care, we want them all back. So, we're working hard to do that," Bennett said. "The negotiations are going on, and it's done primarily by criteria that Hamas is not abiding to — but by and large, getting children and their parents out together. Hamas is deliberately sometimes keeping one or two of the parents back in Gaza. But children, younger people, and the parents of children first, and then later on the rest."

In Doha, Qatar, today, CIA Director William Burns, the administration's point man on the hostage crisis, is meeting with David Barnea, the head of the Mossad, Israel's spy service, and Abbas Kamel, Egypt's spy chief, seeking a way to extend the truce and continue the release of hostages.

In Brussels this morning, Secretary of State Antony Binken said he will be returning to Israel this week and will press for a continuation of the pause in the fighting.

"We head back to the region as the humanitarian pause that we helped to negotiate with Qatar and with Egypt has allowed scores of hostages to be released and to be reunited with their families," Blinken said in a news conference at NATO headquarters. "We're surging humanitarian assistance into Gaza to make sure that its people have what they need to get by. Looking at the next couple of days, we'll be focused on doing what we can to extend the pause so that we continue to get more hostages out and more humanitarian assistance in."


ANOTHER V-22 OSPREY CRASHES: One person is confirmed to have died, and five others are missing and feared dead in the crash of a U.S. military V-22 Osprey off the southern coast of Japan.

The tilt-rotor aircraft went down off Yakushima, an island south of Kagoshima on the southern main island of Kyushu, according to the Japanese coast guard.

The V-22 aircraft had departed from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and crashed on its way to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, Kazuo Ogawa, a coast guard spokeswoman said, according to the Associated Press.

Media reports say witnesses said the left engine of the heli-plane appeared to be on fire before it went down.

In August, a V-22 Osprey aircraft crashed in Australia, killing three Marines. In March of 2022, a V-22 crashed during a training flight in Norway, in which four U.S. Marines died.


The Rundown

Washington Examiner: Senate Democrats debate conditioning Israel aid as Palestinian casualties surge

Washington Examiner: McConnell slams Democrats for weighing 'ridiculous' conditions to Israel aid

Washington Examiner: Senate stumbles into new border security stalemate holding up Israel and Ukraine aid

Washington Examiner: Tim Kaine plans to run on Biden's accomplishments despite president sinking in the polls

Washington Examiner: Jewish group sues UC Berkeley over antisemitism

Washington Examiner: Israel war: Hamas releases latest group of a dozen hostages

Washington Examiner: Musk calls for change in education in Gaza: 'Fed propaganda since they were children'

Washington Examiner: Russia 'using migration' to pressure NATO as Israel-Hamas war heightens terrorism threat

Washington Examiner: American detained in Russia assaulted by inmate, condition revealed

Washington Examiner: Israeli hard-liner calls for ripping up of shaky truce after clashes break out in Gaza

Washington Examiner: US airplanes to arrive in Egypt's Sinai with humanitarian aid for Gaza

Washington Examiner: 'Squad' Democrats join the rest of Congress in condemning Oct. 7 Hamas attack

Washington Examiner: Wife of Ukraine's spy chief poisoned, officials say

Washington Examiner: Mayorkas: DHS using AI to catch fentanyl at border, track down kidnapped children

Washington Examiner: Military pilots getting updated eyewear to protect against increasing laser threats

Washington Examiner: Opinion: UK government waves silly sticks at Greece and Argentina and carrots at China

Washington Examiner: Opinion: The Gaza conflict threatens the West

Washington Post: CIA director pushes big hostage deal in secret meeting with Mossad chief

New York Times: U.S. Warns Israel On Scale Of Attack

Washington Post: Thousands leave behind American lives to join Israel's war in Gaza

Politico: 'We're Taking It out of Hide': Pentagon Says It Has No Money for Middle East Buildup

AP: Fake babies, real horror: Deepfakes from the Gaza war increase fears about AI's power to mislead

Washington Post: Most Russians back war in Ukraine and buy Putin's case for it, report says

New York Times: NATO Tries To Pin Down U.S. On Aid For Ukraine

Defense News: What to Watch as Congress Negotiates Final Defense Policy Bill

Defense One: AI Has a Political Problem

Breaking Defense: Iran Claims It Has Finalized Long-Awaited Deal for Russian Fighter Jets, Helos

The Hill: U.S. Warns Ships Of Evolving Threats After Attacks In Red Sea

USNI News: Houthi Missile Likely Did Not Target USS Mason, M/V Central Park, DoD Says

Air & Space Forces Magazine: SDA Demonstrates Link 16 from Space for First Time Ever

Stars and Stripes: South Korea's Military Preps Countermeasures After North Restores DMZ Guard Posts

AP: South Korea Delays Its Own Spy Satellite Liftoff, Days after North's Satellite Launch

Yonhap: U.S. Says 'Plenty' Of White House, Pentagon Images Available Online After N.K. Claim On Satellite Imagery

Defense News: Early Ford Carrier Maintenance Costs Lower Than Planned, Navy Says

Air & Space Forces Magazine: F-35 Program Will Give Pratt Sole-Source Engine Upgrade Work

The War Zone: Signs Point to Less Range, Higher Performance for CCA Drones

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Why the Air Force Wants a Geothermal Plant in Texas

Air & Space Forces Magazine: Chief Master Sergeant Promotion Rate Ticks Up to Seven-Year High

Military.com: 'Broken and Alone': Father Pens Scathing Letter to Top Brass After Losing Airman Son to Suicide

CQ Roll Call: Momentum Builds for Psychedelic Therapies for Troops, Vets

Defense.info: Does bin Laden get the last laugh?



10 a.m. 310 Cannon — House Homeland Security Committee hearing: "The High North: How U.S. Arctic Strategy Impacts Homeland Security." http://homeland.house.gov

10 a.m. — Henry L. Stimson Center virtual discussion: "The Implications of the Gaza War," with Mairav Zonszein, senior Israel analyst at the International Crisis Group; Collin Meisel, associate director of geopolitical analysis at the University of Denver's Center for International Futures; Randa Slim, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute; Khalil Jahshan, executive director of the Arab Center of Washington, D.C.; and Ali Vaez, project director for Iran at the International Crisis Group https://www.stimson.org/event/the-implications-of-the-gaza-war/

10 a.m. 1030 15th St. NW — Atlantic Council virtual discussion: "Beyond the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility: Ukraine's priorities and needs in the fight and the role the U.S. and the West play in providing support," with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH); Catherine Sendak, director of the Center for European Policy Analysis's Transatlantic Defense and Security Program; and Rebeccah Heinrichs, director of the Hudson Institute's Keystone Defense Initiative. RSVP: press@atlanticcouncil.org

10 a.m. — Asia Society Policy Institute virtual discussion: "Deciphering the U.S.-China AI Showdown," with Paul Scharre, executive vice president and director of studies at the Center for a New American Security; Paul Triolo, senior vice president for China and technology policy lead at the Albright Stonebridge Group; and Lizzi Lee, researcher on the Chinese economy at the Asia Society Policy Institute's Center for China Analysis https://asiasociety.zoom.us/webinar/register

11:30 a.m. 7801 Leesburg Pike — Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Northern Virginia Chapter discussion with Assistant Deputy Air Force Undersecretary Lora Muchmore, assistant deputy chief management officer at the Air Force. https://afceanova.swoogo.com/NOV23Lunch

3 p.m. 2200 Rayburn — House Foreign Affairs Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia Subcommittee hearing: "Roundtable with Families of Hostages Held by Hamas," with families of individuals being held hostage by Hamas http://foreignaffairs.house.gov

3 p.m. — Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center virtual forum: "Understanding the Modernization of the Land-based Leg of the U.S. Strategic Nuclear Deterrent, LGM-35A Sentinel," with Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, and Air Force Brig. Gen. Colin Connor, director of ICBM Modernization https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-strategic-nuclear-deterrence


8 a.m. 2401 M St., NW. — George Washington University Project for Media and National Security Defense Writers Group in-person discussion: "Final Report of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the U.S.," with Madelyn Creedon, commission chairwoman; and Rebeccah Heinrichs, commission member https://nationalsecuritymedia.gwu.edu/events. RSVP: Thom Shanker at tshanker@email.gwu.edu

9:30 a.m. — Brookings Institution virtual discussion: "Israel and Gaza: Where Do We Go From Here?" with Natan Sachs, director of the Brookings Center for Middle East Policy; Itamar Rabinovich, Brookings fellow; and Salam Fayyad, Brookings fellow https://www.brookings.edu/events/israel-and-gaza-where-do-we-go-from-here/

10 a.m. — Arab Center virtual discussion: "Assessing America's Response to the Gaza Crisis: The White House, Congress and the American Public," with Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace; Aaron David Miller, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Shibley Telhami, professor at the University of Maryland https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register

12 p.m. 7805 Regents Dr., College Park, Maryland — University of Maryland's Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland discussion: "Russia's Nuclear Weapons and the War in Ukraine," with Anya Loukianova Fink, research analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses https://cissm.umd.edu/events/cissm-global-forum-russias-nuclear-weapons

12 p.m. — SETA Foundation in Washington, D.C., virtual discussion: "Israel's War in Gaza: The Humanitarian Crisis and Prospects for Peace," with Khaled Elgindy, director, Program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs, Middle East Institute; Trita Parsi, executive vice president, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft; Randa Slim, director, Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues Program, Middle East Institute; Kadir Ustun, executive director, SETA Foundation; and Kilic Kanat, research director, SETA Foundation https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register

2 p.m. HVC-210, U.S. Capitol — House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing: "The U.S. Border Crisis and the American Solution to an International Problem," with testimony from Gene Hamilton, vice president and general counsel at America First Legal, and former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, executive director, chief strategy officer and chairman of the America First Policy Institute http://foreignaffairs.house.gov

2 p.m. 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE — Heritage Foundation discussion: "The Strategic Posture Commission: Defending America in a Modern World," with Madelyn Creedon, chairwoman of the U.S. Strategic Posture Commission; former Assistant Treasury Secretary for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute; Rebeccah Heinrichs, senior fellow and director of Keystone Defense Initiative; and Robert Peters, research fellow for nuclear defense and missile defense at the Heritage Foundation's Center for National Defense https://www.heritage.org/defense/event/the-strategic-posture-commission

2 p.m. 1763 N St. NW — Middle East Institute discussion: "Shabiha Forever: The Syrian Regime's Creation, Control, and Use of Militias Since 2011," with Hari Prasad, research associate at Critica Research and Analysis; Karam Shaar, nonresident senior fellow at the Newlines Institute; Kayla Koontz, researcher at the Syrian Archive; Gregory Waters, MEI nonresident scholar; and Charles Lister, director of the MEI Syria and Counterterrorism Programs https://www.mei.edu/events/shabiha-forever-syrian-regimes

3 p.m. 1957 E St. NW — George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs discussion: "Transatlantic relations, the role of Germany in the EU, Germany's aid to Ukraine, and the impact on Germany of the war between Israel and Hamas," with German Ambassador to the U.S. Andreas Michaelis https://calendar.gwu.edu/event/a_conversation_with_german_ambassador

7:15 p.m. 390 Cannon — House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party hearing: "Discourse Power: The CCP's Strategy to Shape the Global Information Space," with testimony from John Garnaut, Garnaut Global; Miles Yu, Hudson Institute; Yaqiu Wang, Freedom House https://selectcommitteeontheccp.house.gov/committee-activity/live


9 a.m. 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW — Hudson Institute discussion: "U.S. National Security and Ukraine," with Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE); Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA); Tamar Jacoby, director of the Progressive Policy Institute's New Ukraine Project; John Walters, president and CEO of the Hudson Institute; and Luke Coffey, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute https://www.hudson.org/events/us-national-security-ukraine

10:15 a.m. EST Simi Valley, California — Reagan National Defense Forum with members of Congress, senior leadership of the Department of Defense, former officials, scholars, defense industry leaders, and members of the press https://rndf2023virtual.rsvpify.com

11 a.m. — Washington Post Live virtual book discussion: Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare from 1945 to the Present with co-author and former CIA Director retired Army Gen. David Petraeus https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live


10:15 a.m. EST Simi Valley, California — Reagan National Defense Forum with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.; and Shannon Bream of Fox News Sunday https://rndf2023virtual.rsvpify.com


9:30 a.m. 2401 M St., NW — George Washington University Project for Media and National Security Defense Writers Group breakfast conversation with Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security affairs. RSVP: Thom Shanker at tshanker@email.gwu.edu

12 p.m. — Association of the U.S. Army "Noon Report" webinar: "U.S. Army's role in 1980s U.N. peacekeeping operations in the Middle East, with retired Col. L. Scott Lingamfelter, author of Yanks in Blue Berets: American UN Peacekeepers in the Middle East https://www.ausa.org/events/noon-report-yanks-blue-berets


8 a.m. 2401 M St., NW — George Washington University Project for Media and National Security Defense Writers Group breakfast conversation with Benedetta Berti, head of NATO policy planning in the office of the NATO Secretary-General. RSVP: Thom Shanker at tshanker@email.gwu.edu


11 a.m. 789 Massachusetts Ave., NW— American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in-person and virtual discussion: "American Democracy and a Fragile World Order," with John M. Owen IV, author of The Ecology of Nations: American Democracy in a Fragile World Order; and Colin Dueck, Nonresident Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute https://www.aei.org/events/discussing-american-democracy


3 p.m. and 7 p.m. — The U.S. Air Force Band, The U.S. Air Force Concert Band, and Singing Sergeants present a free-to-the-public holiday concert series, "Season of Hope" at DAR Constitution Hall, with the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir, the Alexandria School of Highland Dance, and a special visitor from the North Pole. Tickets: https://usafband.ticketleap.com


3 p.m. — The U.S. Air Force Band, The U.S. Air Force Concert Band, and Singing Sergeants present a free-to-the-public holiday concert series, "Season of Hope" at DAR Constitution Hall, with the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir, the Alexandria School of Highland Dance, and a special visitor from the North Pole. Tickets: https://usafband.ticketleap.com


"Donald Trump cannot succeed alone. He depends upon enablers and collaborators. Every American should understand what his enablers in Congress and in the leadership of the Republican Party were willing to do to help Trump seize power in the months after he lost the 2020 presidential election and what they continue to do to this day."
Former Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, writing in her new book, Oath and Honor, A Memoir and a Warning.
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