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Defense overnight: Senate committee votes to end Iraq war authorizations | Fatally stabbed police officer outside the Pentagon ID’d | Biden administrator approves first arms sale to Taiwan

Happy Wednesday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I’m Rebecca Kheel, and here is your nighttime guide to the latest developments in the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.

THE TOP LINE: Congress moved closer to repealing decades-old authorizations for war on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s step came from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which presented a Sens bill. Tim kaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine Lawmakers inundated with calls for help on exit from Afghanistan (D-Va.) And Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungHow to Fix Semiconductor Chip Shortage (It’s More Than Manufacturing) Senate Democrats attempt to defuse GOP budget drama The 19 GOP Senators who voted for the GOP Bill T PLUS infrastructure (R-Ind.) Which would repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) that signed the Iraq war, as well as the 1991 AUMF which gave the green light to the Gulf War .

“Congresses on both sides abdicated our responsibility for the power to declare war and allowed the presidents of both sides to act unilaterally,” Kaine said. “Action by Congress to repeal these permissions will be a step towards taking Congress seriously of its most solemn responsibility. “

The breakdown: The panel voted 14-8 to approve the bill.

In addition to Young, GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) And Rob Portman (Ohio) voted with Democrats to support the bill.

The GOP is trying to bring to Iran: Most Republicans have argued that the repeal of the 2002 AUMF could hamper US counterterrorism missions – which fall under the 2001 AUMF – and embolden Iran-backed militias that target US forces in Iraq – that the administration considers as empowered to respond by virtue of Article II of the Constitution.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Jim Risch (Idaho), conceded that removing the 2002 AUMF from the books would not prevent a president from taking military action, but argued that repealing it would be a bad “message”. “

“I will be the first to admit that whether 2002 exists or not, whether it is repealed or not, it will have no effect on the decision of a CEO, either this one or the other. , to act that the CEO thinks needs to be taken, “said Risch.” I frankly conclude that there is simply no reason to repeal it at this time, as it endangers in any way it is sending a message that we are committed to the region and determined to protect our troops and American interests. “

GOP Meaning. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Bill Hagerty (Tenn.) On Wednesday proposed amendments they said would preserve the president’s options for responding to threats from Iran and Iran-backed militias.

Cruz’s amendment failed 9-13 and Hagerty’s failed 7-15, with Democrats claiming they would have been a backdoor authorization for military action against Iran.

And after: In a speech on Wednesday, the Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer calls for action on climate after Ida flood House Democrats urge Pelosi to prioritize aid to gyms Progressives launch campaign to exclude gas from clean electricity program Congress PLUS (DN.Y.) reiterated its intention to put the bill to a vote later this year.

The House took a slightly different approach. Rather than a single bill, it passed two separate bills: one repealing the 2002 AUMF and the other repealing the 1991 AUMF and a 1957 resolution granting broad authorization for military action. in the Middle-East.

This means that if Kaine-Young passes the Senate, as it increasingly seems likely, the two houses will still have to reconcile their differences before anything happens. President BidenJoe BidenElder pledges to replace Feinstein with a Republican if he wins the California recall election. Defense and National Security Overnight – Out of Afghanistan, But Stuck in Limbo On The Money – Delta Variation Explodes Labor Market MOREthe office of.

OFFICER KILLED OUTSIDE THE ID’D PENTAGON

Pentagon police have identified the officer who was killed on a bus platform outside the building as Army veteran George Gonzalez.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) described Gonzalez, a native of Brookyln, NY, as a “die-hard Yankee fan,” “gregarious,” “beloved” and “respected by his fellow officers. “

Gonzalez joined the force in July 2018 and reached the rank of senior officer in 2020, the statement said.

He received a commendation medal for his service in Iraq, the statement added.

“Officer Gonzalez embodied our values ​​of integrity and service to others,” the statement said. “As we mourn the loss of Officer Gonzalez, our commitment to serve and protect is stronger. “

From his family : PFPA too issued a statement from Gonzalez’s family on Wednesday afternoon.

“We are heartbroken by the death of our son and our brother, but we are very, very proud of the life he lived,” the statement said.

“George dedicated his life to serving his country; first in the army, then, as an agent of the police force, he continued to serve by protecting the soldiers and the citizens of this country ”, he continued. “He had an infectious personality and was fiercely loved by his family and friends. He loved his country, his family and the Yankees. He was one of the kind with a big heart and he will always be missed. We ask you to respect our privacy as we face this tragic and sudden loss. “

What happened: The FBI also provided the first official confirmation on Wednesday of what exactly happened outside the Pentagon on Tuesday.

According to the FBI, the suspect got off a bus at around 10:40 am at the Pentagon Transit Center and “immediately, without provocation” attacked Gonzalez with a knife, seriously injuring him.

There was then a scuffle, in which the suspect “fatally injured” Gonzalez and then shot himself with Gonzalez’s service weapon, the FBI said.

“Other PFPA agents engaged the subject, who ultimately died at the scene,” he added. The FBI office in Washington, DC tweeted.

A civilian passer-by was injured in the incident – which resulted in a Pentagon lockdown – and was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The individual was then released, authorities said.

About the suspect: The FBI also identified the suspect as Austin William Lanz, 27, most recently from Acworth, Georgia.

Lanz was recently charged in Georgia with aggravated assault and battery against police, terrorist threat and riots at a prison after being arrested in April near Atlanta for criminal trespassing and burglary, according to multiple reports.

Lanz also reportedly attempted to join the Marine Corps in October 2012, but was administratively separated less than a month later.

BIDEN ADMIN APPROVES $ 750M TAIWAN ARMS SALE

The Biden administration has approved its first arms sale to Taiwan, a move that is sure to fuel Beijing’s anger.

The State Department has approved the sale to Taiwan of up to 40 BAE Systems-manufactured M109 self-propelled howitzers and related equipment, including up to 1,698 kits for transforming projectiles into precision guided munitions, as part of the of a deal estimated at $ 750 million, according to a notice published Wednesday.

“This proposed sale serves the national, economic and security interests of the United States by supporting the recipient’s continued efforts to modernize its armed forces and maintain a credible defensive capability,” the notice said. “The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and maintain political stability, military, economic balance and progress in the region.”

IN THE PRESS FOR TOMORROW

Senate Foreign Relations Committee to Hold Confirmation Hearing of Candidates for Ambassadorial Positions in Senegal, Paraguay and Guinea at 10 a.m. https://bit.ly/3yqTRly

ICYMI

– The Hill: Military action may be needed to stop attacks on Iran, Israel defense chief says

– The Hill: the Taliban claim responsibility for the attack on the minister’s complex in Kabul

– The Hill: Senators highlight threats to China’s national security in rare public hearing

– The Hill: Opinion: New sanctions on Iran will not solve the Viennese impasse

– The New York Times Magazine: “A poison in the system”: the epidemic of military sexual assault

– Associated Press: Turkey says it will not accept further Afghan migration, criticizes US

– New York Times: US airstrikes in Afghanistan could be a sign of the sequel

– San Diego Union-Tribune: Fire-fighting equipment sabotaged before Bonhomme Richard’s fire, according to search warrant



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