The House Thursday passed the annual defense authorization bill that would bump military pay by 1.8 percent, but denied several cost cutting requests from the Defense Department. The bill (H.R.4435) came in nearly identical to the one passed by the House Armed Services Committee.
The Defense Department may keep four separate systems to track the hundreds of thousands of contractors it employs, says the Government Accountability Office.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's cyberwarfare program, called Plan X, is one of the agency's highest priorities, said DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar. "We think it's going to become integral to the kinetic warfighting of the future," said Prabhakar during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.
"Resolving this crisis is now one of the highest priorities of the U.S. government," said Robert Jackson, the State Department's principal deputy assistant secretary for African affairs.
The Defense Department hasn't followed its own directive to annually update its list of biological agents that pose the greatest threat.
About 50 House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are backing legislation that would increase the amount of maternity leave women in the military get from six weeks to 12 weeks. The bill, introduced by Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), would bring military guidelines in line with federal guidelines for female civilian feds under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
It's unrealistic for agencies working on major information technology projects to produce functional parts of those projects every six months, as required by the Office of Management and Budget, says a report from the Government Accountability Office.
The Defense Department won't be fully ready to produce an auditable budget statement by its Sept. 30 deadline, DoD Comptroller Robert Hale told a Senate panel. About 10 percent of the DoD budget is ready for the audit currently, Hale said, and about 80 percent should be ready for the deadline. "We don't push them out if they're not ready, and will move to fix them," Hale said at a May 13 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. "We badly want to get to the top of the hill, but we don't want to waste taxpayer money."
The military should review its prohibition of transgender people in the military, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on ABC's "This Week" on May 11. "I'm open to that, by the way. I'm open to those assessments, because, again, I go back to the bottom line," Hagel said. "Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it."
U.S. defense research agencies over the next few months will begin exploring more wearable technologies to help boost a soldier's muscle performance and other capabilities.