The Insider

By John Liang
September 29, 2023 at 2:15 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on Ukraine and Taiwan weapons backlogs, the Pentagon's "Replicator" initiative, the brouhaha over where U.S. Space Command should be headquartered, artificial intelligence and more.

The Senate Armed Services Committee this week held a hearing to consider the nominations of Derek Chollet to become under secretary of defense for policy and Cara Abercrombie to be assistant secretary of defense for acquisition:

Key DOD nominees pledge to get after Ukraine, Taiwan weapons backlogs

Two Biden administration officials who have been nominated for senior acquisition and policy posts at the Pentagon said they are committed to streamlining the contracting process for Ukraine and pledged to address the growing backlog to obligate funds appropriated by Congress.

Document: Chollet's answers to advance policy questions

The Defense Department is in the "initial stages" of implementing its "Replicator" initiative that aims to address China’s pacing challenge by creating and fielding thousands of "attritable" autonomous weapon systems over the next 18 to 24 months:

DOD team charged with overseeing 'Replicator' holds first meeting

The Deputy's Innovation Steering Group, a high-level Pentagon team that will manage the recently announced "Replicator" initiative, held its first meeting today to kickstart its mission to fill pressing military technology gaps in under 18 months.

The House Armed Services Committee held a hearing this week on the Biden administration's decision to keep U.S. Space Command headquartered in Colorado rather than move it to Alabama:

Rogers says he will only authorize funds to build SPACECOM headquarters in Alabama

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) said today he would only authorize funding for the permanent basing headquarters of U.S. Space Command "to be constructed in Huntsville, AL."

Document: House hearing on SPACECOM HQ

A new Artificial Intelligence Security Center will help industry understand, navigate, prevent and eradicate threats against its intellectual property on its way to its final goal of national AI security:

NSA director announces creation of Artificial Intelligence Security Center

The National Security Agency director today announced the creation of an Artificial Intelligence Security Center to assess risk framework and improve national security and the defense industrial base.

Although the first Littoral Combat Ship armed with the Naval Strike Missile -- the trimaran-hulled Independence-class ship Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) -- deployed in 2019, the Navy's plans for expanding the offensive strike capability to the rest of the fleet have been murky in recent years:

Navy plans to put Naval Strike Missiles on all remaining Littoral Combat Ships by FY-32

The Navy plans to outfit all of its Independence-class Littoral Combat Ships with the Naval Strike Missile by fiscal year 2026, and all Freedom-variant ships by FY-32, a Navy spokesperson told Inside Defense.

The Defense Department, in a Selected Acquisition Report for the OASuW Inc. 1 program, is reporting a breach of the original program targets for planned procurement on account of the decision to buy significantly more LRASM missiles, upping the combined acquisition target to 1,215 -- an increase of more than 90% compared to last year’s combined objective of 629:

Lockheed's LRASM gets $1.8 billion boost in DOD plans as 'interim' solution with 18-year run

The Air Force and Navy are beefing up their capability to sink Chinese warships from the air by nearly doubling the planned purchase of Lockheed Martin-built missiles designed to strike heavily defended surface combatants: the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare Increment 1 -- also called the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM).

The House Foreign Affairs Indo-Pacific subcommittee held a hearing this week on China:

Hearing looks at Chinese aggression in South China Sea

China has been increasing the scope, scale and pace of operations and interference in the South China Sea -- building military outposts, sinking Vietnamese fishing boats, disrupting Malaysian energy exploration, and flying too close to U.S. military aircraft operating lawfully in the area, according to a Defense Department official.

By Nick Wilson
September 29, 2023 at 1:07 PM

The Navy has released a draft request for proposals for the future Landing Ship Medium in a Friday notice, making draft system specifications available to select vendors ahead of an official RFP, expected before the end of the calendar year.

The notice follows an August industry day during which program officials briefed contractors on the LSM’s desired requirements. The Navy plans to field a fleet of 18-35 of the vessels, formerly referred to as the Light Amphibious Warship, each carrying a crew of 70 sailors and 50 embarked Marines, to support forward operations in the Indo-Pacific and global littorals.

Little additional information is included in today’s notice, which directs eligible U.S. companies to contact Naval Sea Systems Command to receive draft detail design and construction information and other system specifications. The notice’s response date is listed as Oct. 31.

The Marine Corps views the LSM as a critical capability for future operations, supporting its Marine Littoral Regiments and other forward forces and enabling rapid movement of personnel and equipment without the use of ports or piers.

LSMs are also expected to be significantly cheaper than existing amphibious warships, with procurement costs projected to fall to about $150 million per vessel once the program is established.

The Navy’s fiscal year 2024 budget request includes $14.7 million in research and development funding for the program and indicates a contract for the first ship will be awarded in December 2024, with delivery expected in July 2028.

By Dan Schere
September 29, 2023 at 12:15 PM

The Army has awarded a $318 million firm, fixed-price sole-source contract to BAE Systems for military-code GPS cards that are embedded in position, navigation and timing (PNT) systems, the service announced today.

The procurement method for the M-code cards differs from past contracts because it is an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity award that came through the Defense Information Systems Agency. That process gives the Army program manager a “direct link to the vendor” which reduces administrative time and increases “efficient technical support and integration,” according to the Army.

Previously, the program manager for PNT procured M-code cards through external contracts, which involved “significant passthrough costs and reduced buying power.”

The Sept. 28 contract creates a “direct supply source” for Mounted and Dismounted Assured PNT systems (MAPS and DAPS) and other Defense Department programs that leverage those capabilities, according to the Army. PNT Project Manager Michael Trzeciak said in a statement that BAE’s M-code cards are the only tested ones that are compatible with MAPS and DAPS.

“The contract facilitates procurement of multiple variants of the M-code card -- meeting end system compatibility requirements for Mounted and Dismounted APNT solutions now and into the future,” he said.

By Tony Bertuca
September 29, 2023 at 10:33 AM

The GOP-led House, facing the increasing likelihood of a government shutdown on Oct. 1, narrowly passed an annual defense appropriations bill last night that has little-to-zero chance in the Democrat-led Senate and would be vetoed by President Biden over its inclusion of conservative policy riders and politically divisive amendments that would, among other things, strip military aid to Ukraine and cut Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s salary to $1.

The bill, which would provide $826 billion for the Defense Department, passed 218-210, includes other measures that restrict abortion access for U.S. servicemembers and targets the Pentagon’s diversity initiatives and climate-change-mitigation efforts.

Statements from House Republicans touted the bill as key to their fight against the Pentagon’s attempts at social engineering, while Democrats criticized the GOP for doubling down on a doomed bill at the 11th hour before a federal shutdown.

The bill passed following two unsuccessful floor votes last week that forced GOP leadership to re-work the legislation and remove $300 million in aid to Ukraine. Democrats uniformly oppose the measure for its inclusion of conservative amendments and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) needed to remove the aid money to win a handful of Republican holdouts.

A bill that would provide the aid had to be approved separately by a 311-117 vote, with more than half the GOP caucus voting against it.

The bill is unlikely to be embraced by the Democrat-led Senate, which has been working on defense spending legislation that has more bipartisan support and does not include the “anti-woke” measures sought by House Republicans.

Meanwhile, Congress has yet to pass a stopgap continuing resolution needed to avert an Oct. 1 government shutdown, which would force U.S. servicemembers to work without pay and result in the furlough of thousands of DOD civilians.

By Nickolai Sukharev
September 29, 2023 at 9:13 AM

Lockheed Martin will manufacture air-to-ground missile systems for foreign customers, the Defense Department announced Thursday.

The first contract is for Lockheed to build and deliver the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) system through a foreign military sale for $22 million with the work being done in Orlando, FL with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2026, the announcement reads.

Australia, Czech Republic, France, India, South Korea and Spain are the recipients of the missile.

The contract follows a similar foreign military sales contract announced in August.

Designed to succeed the military’s Hellfire family of missiles, the JAGM system has a multipurpose warhead designed to simultaneously acquire multiple targets, including those that are stationary, moving, airborne or at sea.

The JAGM can be launched from the MQ-1C uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Army’s Apache helicopters and the Marine Corps’ Viper helicopters.

In April 2023, the Army awarded Lockheed the first procurement contract following an approval for full-rate production the previous year.

The Army expects to procure 901 JAGMs in fiscal year 2024, according to budget documents.

By Dan Schere
September 28, 2023 at 3:15 PM

The Army has awarded Palantir a $250 million firm, fixed-price contract to conduct research and development of artificial intelligence and machine learning, according to a Sept. 26 Pentagon contract announcement.

The estimated completion date is Sept. 25, 2026, according to the notice.

Palantir was awarded a $229 million contract one year ago to expand its work with the Army Research Laboratory when it comes to bringing AI into soldier’s hands. The 2022 contract was the expansion of a relationship the Army Research Lab has had with Palantir since 2018, Inside Defense reported at the time. The service also awarded Palantir a $458 million production agreement in 2019 for Army Vantage -- an integrated data platform.

Palantir did not have additional details on the contract announced this week, but a company spokeswoman said it continues the work being done at the Army Research Lab stemming from last year’s contract.

By John Liang
September 28, 2023 at 2:31 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Defense Department's latest Selected Acquisition Reports and more.

We start off with coverage of the Pentagon's most-recently released Selected Acquisition Reports on various weapon systems:

DOD tallies $12.5B price tag for F-15EX fleet; 1970s airframe forecasted to fly until 2060s

The Pentagon estimates the total price tag for Boeing's F-15EX fighter aircraft program is $12.5 billion, a sum that allows the Air Force to replace its oldest two-seater fighters with a modernized variant of the 1970s-design combat system and puts a significant six-year squeeze on available funding to buy F-35 aircraft as Lockheed Martin struggles to reach objective manufacturing rates.

DOD to break out SM-6 reporting of new hypersonic strike and defense missiles

The Navy plans to establish a dedicated program to manage procurement of a hypersonic capability -- both defensive and offensive -- in development since 2018 and slated to begin production in fiscal year 2024, breaking the Standard Missile-6 Block IB off from other variants of the SM-6 for cost and schedule reporting.

Army tallies $7.2B light tank program cost, excluding $2.2B unfunded requirement

The Army has tallied a $7.2 billion price tag for its Mobile Protected Firepower program, a project to buy 377 light tanks for infantry brigades that will outfit six battalions but still leave the service shy of more than 30% of the total infantry requirement for a direct-fire capability needed to neutralize hardened enemy positions and armored vehicles.

The Pentagon wants to shore up the defense microelectronics industrial base:

DOD awards contracts to improve resilience in the defense microelectronics industrial base

The Defense Department has awarded a combined $17.5 million to two initiatives that aim to strengthen the resilience of the defense microelectronics industrial base.

Keith DeVries, deputy defense director of manufacturing technology, said during a Defense News webinar this week that he believes additive manufacturing has the potential to simplify and streamline the way weapons and other military items are produced:

DOD official touts additive manufacturing for hypersonic weapons

A senior Pentagon official this week highlighted the promise that additive manufacturing brings to the defense industrial base, specifically when it comes to hypersonic weapons, calling it a "game changer."

A recent international naval exercise integrated unmanned systems operations with crewed ships:

4th Fleet rides wave of 'technical firsts' in UNITAS

The U.S. 4th Fleet launched Starlink systems and reported "technical firsts" fielding unmanned aerial and surface vehicles during UNITAS exercises conducted with 20 partner nations in waters off Central and South America.

By Nickolai Sukharev
September 28, 2023 at 10:16 AM

BAE Systems will produce Bradley Fighting vehicles using legacy variants, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.

Sourcing legacy vehicles, the company will produce M2A4 and M7A4 vehicles by an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2026, for $288 million with work locations to be determined, the announcement reads.

The announcement follows earlier contract announcements in September and August.

Serving as the Army’s primary infantry fighting vehicle, the M2A4 is designed to carry and support dismounted troops in combat. It is armed with a 25mm cannon, a coaxial 7.62mm caliber machine gun and can carry antitank missiles.

The M7A4 Bradley Fire Support Team Vehicle carries sensor and sighting systems designed to relay targeting information to support artillery fire.

In service since 1981, other Bradley variants include the M3 Cavalry Vehicle, a command vehicle and an engineer vehicle.

The Army previously operated the M6 Bradley Linebacker, a now-retired air defense variant armed with Stinger surface-to-air missiles.

The XM30 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle, previously called the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, will replace the Bradley as part of the Army’s Next Generation Ground Vehicle program.

Ukraine has received 186 Bradley vehicles as part of military aid while the country fights off an invasion from Russia, according to the Defense Department.

By Nickolai Sukharev
September 28, 2023 at 10:11 AM

Two companies will produce the next batch of artillery shells for the Army, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.

American Ordnance and General Dynamics Ordnance & Tactical Systems will manufacture 155mm M1128 projectiles for $974 million by an estimated completion date of Sept. 26, 2028.

The announcement does not list the exact number of projectiles to be produced and states work locations will be determined with each contract.

Intended to become the Army’s primary high-explosive round, the M1128 projectile has a 30km range, a high fragmentation body and is compatible with the Army’s future Extended Range Cannon Artillery System.

Last month, service acquisition chief Doug Bush announced an earlier multiyear contract for M1128 projectiles to IMT Defense Corp. in Westerville, OH, costing $162 million.

Bush added that increasing artillery production has various hurdles such as establishing new production lines, filling the shells with explosives and producing the charges that go behind the shells.

The U.S. has aided Ukraine with more than two million 155mm projectiles of various types, as the country counters an invasion from Russia, according to the Defense Department.

The Army intends to procure 16,950 rounds, according to fiscal year 2024 budget documents.

By Nickolai Sukharev
September 28, 2023 at 10:04 AM

The Army is looking to address "obsolescence" issues with the Javelin anti-tank missile, according to a public announcement.

“The objective is a Javelin G-Model round capable of being mass-produced at planned production rates of at least 3,960 units per year to support U.S. and coalition partners against threats,” the announcement reads.

Issued on Sept. 15 as an engineering change proposal, the announcement requests capability statements include ways to preserve the Javelin’s mission effectiveness and reduce costs wherever applicable.

The Army isn't soliciting requests for proposals but anticipates issuing a contract for fiscal years 2024-2029, the announcement says.

Produced by Lockheed and RTX, the Javelin is a man-portable and shoulder-launched missile designed to defeat armored vehicles up to 2,500 meters. The system consists of the anti-tank missile, a disposable launch tube and a reusable command launch unit.

The Javelin’s fire-and-forget capability allows the user to reload or move to another location immediately after launching the missile.

First deployed in 1996, Javelin has had eight versions during its service and has been exported to more than 20 countries. The F-model currently serves as the missile’s manufacturing baseline.

Ukraine has received more than 10,000 Javelins during its efforts to counter a Russian invasion, according to the Defense Department.

In 2022, the Javelin G-model, the latest variant of the missile, experienced a flight test failure, according to a January 2023 report from the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation.

The Army is expected to procure 651 Javelins during fiscal year 2024.

By Georgina DiNardo
September 27, 2023 at 5:06 PM

The Defense Department today announced plans to create two BRAVO Artificial Intelligence Battle Labs, one based at U.S. European Command and the other at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, to host "hackathons" intended to develop and strengthen the military's AI capabilities.

Both labs will be used to organize U.S. federal government-wide BRAVO hackathons, which invite people to form emerging capabilities under department leadership, including some with coalition partners.

"BRAVO Hackathons represent an opportunity for DOD to practice and proliferate the fundamentals of user-centered design and agile software development," said Joe Larson, DOD’s deputy chief digital and AI officer for algorithmic warfare.

"By providing the seed funding to establish the AI Battle Labs in EUCOM and INDOPACOM,” he said, “we will be designing and testing data analytic[s] and AI capabilities with warfighters, not for them, informing and strengthening our ability to deliver exactly what they need to win."

The BRAVO Hackathon series will keep planning one-week long events to integrate data of any classification in a software development environment that allows untrusted, licensed commercial and open-source software and data that is otherwise not authorized for use in production systems.

"On behalf of the DOD, we will deploy BRAVO's awesome development experience to combatant commands to host timeboxed hackathons and continuously develop and integrate capabilities developed from operational theater data," said Stuart Wagner, Air Force chief digital transformation officer and executive agent for the BRAVO AI battle labs. "Given that a free society's largest competitive advantage is innovation and collaboration, the labs will provide a physical and digital space for serendipitous social collisions as DOD, industry, and coalition partners prototype solutions to challenges from peer competitors. Any U.S. citizen remains eligible to apply to participate in public BRAVO hackathons."

According to a DOD release, these multi-classification labs are intended to collect operational theater data, ranging from logistics to cyber, to share with the DOD enterprise which should in turn create central hubs for digital integration among federal entities, industry, coalition partners and U.S. citizens.

In accordance with the labs’ bottom-up approach, the release also encourages federal government employees or federal contractors to share cases, data, infrastructure or potential collaborations with the labs through the email: And recommends U.S. citizens and U.S. industry professionals looking to work with the labs to contact the DIU at

"We look forward to working with the BRAVO labs to ensure that developers and companies who want to work with DOD data can rapidly access the environments they need to demonstrate operational relevance," said Doug Beck, director of the Defense Innovation Unit.

The release states that the labs intend to interconnect combatant command, enterprise DOD and coalition partner capabilities from data ingestion and system integration to approved employment, citing the Air Force’s system-of-systems technology integration toolchain for heterogeneous electronic systems (STITCHES) as a service to integrate directly to the labs.

"The use of emerging AI tools to quickly analyze and leverage data for decision advantage is critical in today's increasingly complex threat environment," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Peter Andrysiak, chief of staff at EUCOM. "Establishing one of the BRAVO AI Battle labs within the USEUCOM region is an important investment for this command. The lab will enable greater innovation at the edge, with our Allies and partners, against a range of challenges at a pivotal time for the command."

BRAVO hackathons are not new to the department. Over three BRAVO hackathons at six different sites, 81 operational prototypes have been created at three classifications from operational DOD data. These occurred at approximately 2% of the cost of existing DOD minimum viable product innovation pipelines.

"Despite the speed and impacts from BRAVO hackathons, we are still finding the time from development of capabilities, calibrations, or tactics with operational data to employment in theater to be on the order of months or years," Wagner said. "We are deploying these labs to drop this timeline by a factor of 100 -- from months or years to days and eventually hours -- by increasingly automating bureaucratic processes such as data classification determinations and authority to operate applications. If successful, we will adapt our capabilities and tactics to our strategic competitors faster than they can adapt to us."

By Tony Bertuca
September 27, 2023 at 2:50 PM

The Senate Armed Services Committee has voted to advance the nominations of Adm. Lisa Franchetti to be chief of naval operations and Gen. David Allvin to be Air Force chief of staff, setting up confirmation votes that will need to be considered individually if they are to shirk the blanket hold put in place months ago by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently decided to hold individual votes to confirm Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles “C.Q.” Brown, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George and Marine Corps Commandant Eric Smith.

Though the Senate normally advances military nominations and promotions through speedier, bipartisan votes where many nominees can be approved at once, Tuberville is blocking that process over his opposition to the Pentagon’s leave and travel policies for servicemembers seeking abortions. His hold covers more than 300 military nominations.

Schumer has not said how he would proceed with other senior defense nominees awaiting confirmation. But he had previously said he did not want the Senate to confirm the nominees individually as it could set a precedent in the future that could further slow the nomination process. Schumer said he changed his mind concerning Brown, George and Smith because getting the Joint Chiefs in place is a national security priority.

Tuberville, meanwhile, has vowed to continue his nomination blockade until the Pentagon changes its policy on abortion.

The Government Accountability Office, however, recently said that the Defense Department’s abortion policy is exempt from congressional review.

A Congressional Research Service report found that it would take the Senate more than 30 days to confirm the nominees impacted by Tuberville’s hold if lawmakers worked 24 hours per day without stopping. It would take the Senate 89 days if lawmakers worked eight hours a day on just the nominations.

By John Liang
September 27, 2023 at 2:15 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a prototype long-range missile system being developed for Marine Corps attack helicopters, the Space Force's new space domain awareness collaboration hub, domestic supply chain production and more.

We start off with the Marine Corps looking to develop a long-range missile system that its attack helicopters can carry:

Marine Corps seeks new long-range munition for VTOL fleet

The Marine Corps is looking for contractors capable of rapidly prototyping a new, long-range precision weapon system to arm its fleet of AH-1Z Viper helicopters and other vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft.

The Space Force's new Tools Application and Processing Lab is designed to encourage government, industry, academia and allies to work closely with the service and Space Systems Command:

Space Force opens second TAP center in Colorado to solve SDA challenges

The Space Force has opened a collaboration center in Colorado Springs, CO, to find solutions to space domain awareness challenges, according to an announcement issued Monday.

With tensions rising on many supply chains being overseas, particularly when it comes to possible Chinese cyberattacks, the Defense Department is pushing for more domestic supply chain production:

DOD establishes munitions pilot program to foster domestic supply chains

The Pentagon's Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization office launched a munitions campus pilot project today intended to assist emerging U.S. businesses through a shared facility intended to decrease costs and lower entry barriers.

The Defense Department's top acquisition official spoke this week during a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies:

LaPlante: 'Production diplomacy' is coming via new deals with U.S. allies

Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante, fresh from a meeting last week with NATO's top armaments directors, said defense contractors should expect the United States to soon announce more multinational procurement deals -- involving co-development, co-production and co-sustainment -- with its closest allies, including Ukraine.

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks recently sent a memo on the Defense Innovation Steering Group:

Pentagon memo details Replicator implementation process

A Defense Department memo details the Pentagon's Replicator implementation mechanism, outlining the structure and process that the internal "Defense Innovation Steering Group" will use to fill pressing operational gaps through 18-month innovation sprints.

By Dan Schere
September 27, 2023 at 12:16 PM

Booz Allen Hamilton and Red Hat have been awarded a contract to work on Project Linchpin -- the Army's initiative to create a pipeline for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The $2 million contract, announced Wednesday, is the first of several awards that will support the program, according to the service.

The contract will support the principles of traceability, observability, replaceability and consumability (TORC), which is the framework to “ensure model and data integrity, data openness and modular open system architecture design,” according to the Army. It has a six-month period of performance, with option years of up to five years.

Since the Army began releasing requests for information on Project Linchpin in late 2022, there have been more than 170 engagements with industry, officials previously told Inside Defense. The Army plans to use other transaction authorities over the next 18 months in its contracting approach for Linchpin, project lead Bharat Patel said at an Aug. 29 National Defense Industrial Association event.

Col. Chris Anderson, project manager for intelligence systems and analytics within the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S), said in a statement Wednesday that the contract is “a significant first step to decouple AI from software, decompose components within a [machine learning operations] pipeline, and wrap layers of security around the entire process.”

“These design principles will allow the Army to leverage the best-of-breed technology available across industry, academia, and government,” he said.

By Tony Bertuca
September 27, 2023 at 10:52 AM

House Republicans were able to muster enough votes last night to advance debate on the fiscal year 2024 defense appropriations bill, a goal that had eluded them three times previously.

The House voted 216-212 to begin debate on the bill, which Democrats uniformly oppose and President Biden has threatened to veto because of various “culture war” provisions that target diversity programs, climate change mitigation and the Pentagon’s travel and leave policy for servicemembers seeking abortions. The bill is also likely to fail in the Democrat-led Senate.

House Republicans released a statement today arguing the defense appropriations bill actually “rejects culture wars” because it refocuses the Pentagon on warfighting and away from “partisan, unnecessary initiatives.”

But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had to withdraw the bill from consideration earlier this month and last week lost two votes to advance debate as many members of his caucus refuse to support increases in government spending and additional aid to Ukraine.

It remains to be seen if the defense spending bill can pass the full House, though a vote is expected Thursday.

McCarthy is also having trouble gathering support among his caucus for a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown, saying the House could vote on a GOP-authored CR at the end of the week. Some Republicans have said they would prefer a shutdown to increasing the federal budget.

The Senate last night released a bipartisan CR proposal, but it is unlikely to be supported by many House Republicans as it includes funds for Ukraine and does nothing to slash domestic spending.

The federal government is slated to shut down if Congress cannot agree to a CR by Oct. 1.