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*** Top congressional Democrats are planning legislation to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year in 10 days while also extending the federal debt ceiling. In a joint announcement in the afternoon of Sept. 20, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called "an extension of government funding through December" to allow for the appropriations process to complete.

House Democrats are able to pass the bill without Republican support, but the Senate is a different story, where 10 Republican votes at a minimum will be needed to move the bill. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urged his members to block a combined continuing resolution and debt ceiling increase.

In a letter to lawmakers earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the government has cash reserves to cover its obligations until sometime in October.

*** U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said local politics were stymying national security interests, amid congressional pushback on retiring legacy weapons systems.

"We will not succeed against a well-resourced strategic competitor if we insist on keeping every legacy system we have," Kendall said during a Sept. 20 keynote speech at the Air Force Association's annual Air Space Cyber conference in National Harbor, Md.

Senate's draft version of the 2022 defense policy bill prohibits the Air Force from retiring older systems, like the A-10 aircraft. The House version of the bill doesn't have those limits which could make the issue a concern in conference.

*** The Government Accountability Office is concerned that the increasing tempo of deployments of the Defense Department's new, commercial electronic health records system could pose risks to the success of the program, especially considering some critical and major incidents that arose during testing have not been fully resolved. The GAO report on MHS Genesis noted the many successes of the program implementation but urged DOD to adopt a method for retesting incidents to make sure they are resolved and to improve training while also alerting users to system changes.

Posted on Sep 21, 2021 at 2:19 AM


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