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 Congress & DoD

    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., right, and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hold a news conference July 28 to announce that the two committees have struck a deal to reform the Veterans Affairs Department. The measure passed Wednesday 420-5 in the House and 91-3 in the Senate on Thursday. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    $16.3B VA reform bill passes Senate 91-3; Obama expected to sign

    The Senate overwhelmingly gave final approval to a $16.3 billion Veterans Affairs reform bill on Thursday night, sending the measure to the White House and giving Congress a legislative victory before the start of its summer break.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  1.  File photo

    Congress presses DoD for allotment system reform

    Lawmakers are stepping up pressure on the Pentagon to improve the paycheck allotment system that allows service members to direct portions of their biweekly pay to certain people or institutions.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  2. Support Questions: The fast combat support ship Bridge transfers supplies to the German destroyer Hamburg and US aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, while the cruiser Hue City waits its turn. The Bridge is scheduled to be taken out of service in September as an economy measure. MC2 Ryan McLearnon/ / US Navy

    Future of fast supply ships questioned

    While lawmakers routinely question the Navy about aircraft carriers, submarines, cruisers and other warships, it's rare that the lowly combat logistics force comes into the congressional viewfinder.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  3. Smoke rises July 31 after an Israeli strike in Gaza City. Majed Hamdan / AP

    U.S., U.N. announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire

    Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire beginning Friday, during which time there will be negotiations on a more durable truce in the 24-day-old Gaza war, the United States and United Nations announced Thursday.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  4. U.S. Family Health Plan too costly, watchdog report says

    A popular health care program that serves more than 130,000 military family members and retirees is redundant and should be eliminated, the Government Accountability Office says.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    A workman quickly slides a dustmop over the floor at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Va. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    State Dept.: 'No American is proud' of CIA tactics

    The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror suspects and misleading Con

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  5. IG: Services contribute to delays in processing VA claims

    Veterans wait months longer than necessary to have their veterans disability benefits processed because of delays in how military officials handle service medical records, according to an audit released Thursday by the Defense Department Inspector General

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  6. Where would new VA medical facilities be located?

    Several new Veterans Affairs medical facilities would be opened if a House-Senate compromise bill designed to shorten delays in treating veterans becomes law.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD

    CIA director apologizes to Senate leaders

    CIA Director John Brennan apologized to Senate intelligence committee leaders after his inspector general found that CIA employees acted improperly when the CIA searched Senate computers earlier this year.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    The Veterans Affairs building in Washington, D.C. Karen Bleier/Getty Images

    House set to take up $17B VA overhaul bill

    With a new Veterans Affairs secretary in place and an August recess looming, Congress is likely to move quickly to approve a compromise bill to refurbish the VA and improve veterans' health care.

    • Jul. 30, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, will introduce legislation Wednesday designed to strengthen the Pentagon's sex assault forensic examiner cadre by improving training and certification, and requiring more personnel be trained in taking DNA samples and other physical evidence following an attack. Karen Bleier / AFP

    Bill aims to strengthen forensic training in sexual assault cases

    The Defense Department must improve its procedures for investigating sexual assaults by standardizing training requirements for medical experts who examine victims and analyze rape kits, a bipartisan group of lawmakers say.

    • Jul. 30, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    House and Senate negotiators have approved a compromise bill to spend about $17 billion to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. Agreement by the 28-member conference committee was needed to move the bill to the full House and Senate. AFP

    Conference committee OKs $17B VA health care bill

    House and Senate negotiators have approved a $17 billion compromise bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and reform a program scandalized by veterans' long waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Internal VA documents show the depth of fraudulent scheduling, manipulation of data and in some cases, intimidation of staff, to hide delays in medical care to veterans in the 6-million patient national system, according to documents provided to USA Today. Ross D. Franklin / AP

    VA manipulated vets' appointment data, audit finds

    Internal VA documents show the depth of fraudulent scheduling, manipulation of data and in some cases intimidation of staff to hide delays in medical care to veterans in the 6-million patient national system.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    The Taliban released a video June 4 showing the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan. AP

    House committee rebukes Obama over Bergdahl deal

    House Armed Services Committee members voted Tuesday to condemn President Obama for failing to consult with congressional leaders before swapping five Taliban prisoners for prisoner of war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
  7. The littoral combat ship USS Independence is underway in a formation of 42 ships and submarines from 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific 2014. Ensign Joseph Pfaff / US Navy

    PACOM chief: U.S. not worried about Chinese intel ship at RIMPAC

    The head of the Pentagon's Pacific Command said Tuesday that it's 'a little odd' the Chinese government has sent a spy ship to trail the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise currently taking place off the coast of Hawaii — an exercise in which China has f

    • Jul. 29, 2014
  8. President Obama speaks July 29 on the South Lawn of the White House as he announces new economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy in the latest move to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels. Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

    U.S. and EU pledge new sanctions against Russia

    The U.S. message has been clear that if Russia would not deescalate its movements and hostility in Ukraine, more sanctions would be imposed.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to reporters Tuesday at the State Department in Washington, during a news conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. Cliff Owen / AP

    Lavrov and Kerry talk about Cold War-era arms deal

    Russia's Foreign Ministry says the chief diplomats from Russia and the United States have discussed the situation in Ukraine and the fulfillment of a Cold War-era arms control deal that the U.S. has accused Russia of violating.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., joined by Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, speaks during a news conference Monday on Capitol Hill. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    Miller faces sales job on $17B VA bill in the House

    Before being elected to Congress, Rep. Jeff Miller was a real estate broker.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has returned from two weeks of training with the Iowa National Guard to a midterm election race against Democrat Bruce Braley that has become a competitive contest in the battle for Senate control. Charlie Neibergall / AP

    Pig-castrating Senate candidate returns from Guard duty

    Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has returned from two weeks of training with the Iowa National Guard to a midterm election race against Democrat Bruce Braley that has become a competitive contest in the battle for Senate control.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
  9. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken speaks about Russia, Ukraine as well as the Middle East conflict during a July 28 appearance at the daily press briefing at the White House. Jacquelyn Martin / AP

    White House: EU, U.S. to impose new Russia sanctions

    The United States and European Union plan to impose new sanctions against Russia this week, including penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy, the White House said Monday.

    • Jul. 28, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, accompanied by House Veterans' Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., speaks during a July 28 news conference on Capitol Hill. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    VA reform bill to get vote this week

    In a dramatic legislative turnaround, the chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs committees on Monday unveiled plans for a $17 billion compromise VA reform bill that funds the hiring of more clinicians, expands private care options and makes i

    • Jul. 28, 2014
  10. U.S.: Russia violated 1987 nuclear missile treaty

    In an escalation of tensions, the Obama administration accused Russia on Monday of conducting tests in violation of a 1987 nuclear missile treaty, calling the breach 'a very serious matter' and going public with allegations that have simmered for some tim

    • Jul. 28, 2014
  11. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves after speaking at a July 28 news conference at the State Department in Washington. Cliff Owen / AP

    U.S. fuming over Israeli criticism of Kerry

    Obama administration officials were fuming Monday over a torrent of Israeli criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry's latest bid to secure a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

    • Jul. 28, 2014
  12. The destroyer Frank E. Evans, after it was cut in half in a 1969 collision with an Australian aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. The names of the 74 sailors killed in the incident do not appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Navy

    Effort advances to add names of 74 sailors to Vietnam Memorial

    The crew of the destroyer Frank E. Evans is fighting once again, 45 years after their ship sank in the South China Sea after a terrifying collision.

    • Jul. 27, 2014
  13. A satellite image purports to show a before and after close-up of artillery strikes. The United States says the images back up its claims that rockets have been fired from Russia into eastern Ukraine and heavy artillery for separatists has also crossed the border. State Department / AP

    U.S.: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine

    Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. has released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists has crossed the border.

    • Jul. 27, 2014
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