tv Leo Shane on the Defense Authorization Bill CSPAN September 9, 2017 12:41am-12:48am EDT
reading caucus does on spending. >> he wants to bring the debt down. i have to vote. >> when house returns at noon on monday, they will continue work on fiscal 2018 spending bills with votes expected in the evening. the senate scheduled to debate the defense program bill. you can watch the proceedings live on c-span and c-span2 good for more on what is next for the defense though, we talked to a capitol hill reporter. host: leo shane is capital bureau chief for "military
times." it sounds like debate will be led by day chair of the armed services committee, john mccain, who will be returning from cancer treatments. what are his priorities for funding the military? mr. shane: this funding issue is going to be the core of the debate with the defense authorization act this week. as you said, he had the vote against the continuing resolution. he said these short-term budget issues don't help the military, they need long-term planning and more money. the cr vote this week test extends the current fiscal year's funding to the end of december, the middle of december. what we are going to be seeing in the defense authorization debate this week is basically his plea for significant increase in defense funding. it is a $692 billion bill. it is more than what the house wants and significantly more than what the president had laid out for basic defense funding. these are going to be issues and how they got there, how they pay for this. there is going to be at least a deal to ease that if this is the number we get to.
the white house has been frustrated there is not been a solution to sequestration. a longer-term solution. right now, both sides want more money. it is a question of how we get there. host: one of the other issues they are going to be talking about are base closures. with the defense department support. what can you tell us about the base closures and one other defense issues are you going to be looking for on the senate floor? mr. shane: the defense department has been begging for a base closure round. they say they can save up to $2 billion a year if they can close some of these places, but lawmakers in the house and senate have said they are not interested. it's a political hot potato. they don't want to see local bases get closed down. senator mccain and senator reid brackpposed possibly a light amendment where there are some base closing suggestions. instead of doing the whole rack
commission to look at closings, they instead go to the government accountability office or some other independent arbiters and see if they can get it done that way. still a tough sell. still talking about closing bases, which is what lawmakers don't want. even if he can get it to the senate, there doesn't appear to be the same appetite in the house. another key fight will be watching, the president has talked about a transgender band in the military. we are expecting amendments on that and possibly some heated floor fights on that. they need to see exactly what they need to be over the next few months, who would be banned, what parameters they can put on folks currently serving. quite a few democrats in the senate have said they want to see this gone. the obama administration made a promise to transgender troops they would be able to serve and the current administration should uphold the promise. briefly, what about
afghanistan and north korea? mr. shane: with the assumed to increase in afghanistan that is coming with the new president strategy, we will have to see how much money that costs and whether it changes the bottom line. about $60 million of the bill is set aside for overseas contingency operations. if there is a significant troop increase in afghanistan, it remains to be seen if they are going to need more money to be able to pay for that. north korea, everyone is trying to get their hands around right now. just now, a big briefing on what that means. i haven't heard any amendments specifically on that, but it would not be a surprise price of became up during the debate. host: leo shane is on twitter and we will look for your reporting in "military times." >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact your. coming up saturday morning, the becket fund for religious liberty's diana firm will talk
about representing texas churches suing for harvey relief. and a transportation reporter will talk about infrastructure reform efforts in congress and the upcoming september 30 deadline to reauthorize the faa could and tom martin will join us to look at the role of the federal government in wildfire management. be sure to watch "washington journal," live saturday money. join the discussion. sunday night on "q&a," founder and ceo of open the books on how taxpayer dollars are spent and many for government transparency. >> we have audited the checkbook , and less summer we found that during a period where thousands of veterans died while waiting to see a doctor, the v.a. spent $20 million on a high end our
portfolio. costot christmas trees like cars. sculptures that cost the same amount as homes. procured by aba -- a mvaat serves center that serves applied to veterans. this is the type of waste in our government. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> this week on "newsmakers" representative mark walker, a republican of north carolina. in the studio, we have a reporter from bloomberg news. she has the first question.