House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) is trying to energize action on the 2006 defense authorization bill by getting staffers in next week to settle lingering policy difference between the House and Senate versions. A panel spokesman told Congress Daily the “condensed time frame” requires “outside the box” thinking. If Hunter’s iniative works, the House could vote on the measure the first week in December, followed by the Senate after its recess. Per the Daily, the spokesman says the many amendments tied to this bill still would receive due deliberation.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.