“It took four straight weeks of intense legislative work, but we finally got rid of Congress.”

On this week’s Defense Nerds Podcast, Military Times Deputy Editor Leo Shane and Defense News Capitol Hill Bureau Chief Joe Gould say goodbye to Congress for the summer, and recap the work they got done before leaving town for their August recess: finalizing the new budget deal, advancing the national defense authorization act process, and confirming a host of new Pentagon appointees.

One confirmation they didn’t complete was that of Gen. John Hyten, the pick to be the next Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Hyten, who has been accused of sexual assault by a former aide, had his confirmation hearing last week and was advanced by the Senate Armed Services Committee, but the full chamber won’t vote on him until this fall.

Finally, the hosts get you ready for National Presidential Joke Day (or as ready as they can for a ridiculous non-holiday).

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Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

Joe Gould was the senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry. He had previously served as Congress reporter.

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