(CNN) – The Senate broke another Republican filibuster on Monday in confirming former top Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson to head the Homeland Security Department.
The vote to approve Johnson, a key architect of President Barack Obama's anti-terrorism policies that have included stepped up drone use in terrorist hotspots, was 78-16.
Johnson was nominated by Obama in October and will replace former Secretary Janet Napolitano, who left the Cabinet post earlier this year to head California's public university system.
Washington (CNN) – The Pentagon will announce Wednesday it is entering into a contract with the Fisher House to ensure families of the fallen are paid the death benefits they are due but have not received because of the government shutdown, a senior Defense Department official told CNN.
The Fisher House, a group that offers assistance to families of troops in need, has agreed to cover the expenses for all families of the fallen and the government will reimburse the organization once the shutdown is over, the official said.
Washington (CNN) - The Pentagon may announce as soon as this weekend a plan to bring up to 400,000 furloughed civilian employees back to work, according to two Defense Department officials.
CNN has learned the plan is in the final stages of being written and approved.FULL STORY
(CNN) - The Pentagon issued guidance on Friday on how a potential government shutdown, which would begin on Tuesday absent a congressional agreement on spending, would impact its operations.
"All military personnel will continue in a normal duty status regardless of their affiliation" under a shutdown scenario, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter wrote in a memo to military commanders and other senior defense officials.FULL STORY
Updated at 12:35 p.m. ET on 7/16
Washington (CNN) – An effort to remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command received a bipartisan boost Tuesday as conservative Republicans joined the bill's main backer, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, to voice their support for the measure.
“Our carefully crafted common sense proposal was written in direct response to what the victims told us, the stories that came from them, what happened to them, the fact that they didn’t trust the chain of command, that they were retaliated against, that they didn’t think justice was possible,” Gillibrand said at a Capitol Hill event.
(CNN) - An award for drone operators that drew an angry response from lawmakers was downgraded to a lesser distinction Monday by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
The Distinguished Warfare Medal, which was approved last month by Hagel's predecessor, Leon Panetta, was to recognize "extraordinary direct impacts on combat operations." But the honor denotes that the action is not bound by a "geographic limitation," meaning operators on unmanned drones would have been eligible.
(CNN) – United States Marines are being told to preserve ammunition and gasoline as a deal softening the impact of automatic spending cuts continues to elude leaders in Washington.
Marine Corps Commandant James Amos urged personnel in a video posted online Friday to "save every round, every gallon of gas," and to "take every single aspect or opportunity in training to get the most bang for the buck," a reminder of the cuts' immediate effect on the U.S. military.
(CNN) – New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel addressed service members and civilian employees Wednesday, vowing to always be "honest" and "direct" with his staff–and asking the same in return.
"You are not joining my team. I am joining your team," he said. "And I want you to know how proud I am of the opportunity the president of the United States has given me and the Congress of the United States has given me."
(CNN) - A U.S. senator insists he did not reveal any secrets when he publicly mentioned the number of people killed in drone strikes overseas.
Republican Lindsey Graham told an audience in Easley, South Carolina, on Tuesday that the little-discussed drone program had killed 4,700 people, according to a report by Easley Patch website editor Jason Evans.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Nearly 800,000 civilian workers would be forced to take one day of leave per week without pay if automatic spending cuts go into effect as scheduled on March 1, the Defense Department told Congress on Wednesday morning.
The furloughs would start in the last week of April and last for 22 weeks, according to the Pentagon plan.FULL STORY