Senate Avoids Meltdown, May Soon Act on NDAA

The Senate avoided partisan gridlock this week by confirming President Obama’s nomination of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The confirmation has been pending for more than two years, due to concerns about the bureau and adequate congressional oversight.  In addition, two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board were withdrawn from Senate consideration.

Following the confirmation debate, Senate lawmakers are being urged by Senator Carl Levin (Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to focus on passing the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, S. 1197) before the month-long recess, which is scheduled to begin on August 5th.  The House version of the NDAA (H.R. 1960) passed the House on June 14, 2013.

Once both chambers approve their respective versions of the NDAA, a conference committee will reconcile the differences between the House and Senate bills. Neither the House nor the Senate Armed Services Committee version of the NDAA accounts for possible FY 2014 sequestration cuts totaling $52 billion that will take effect unless alternative spending cuts are approved in the coming months. To date, no talks to avert the sequestration cuts or address the situation have been scheduled.

Members are urged to use the FRA Action Center to tell the President, their senators and representative that these arbitrary, disproportionate cuts to Defense will create a hollow force and negatively impact military readiness, and should be waived for the Department of Defense.