In the News

House lawmakers unveil $66B foreign aid, border supplemental

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House lawmakers unveil $66B foreign aid, border supplemental Measure excludes Senate bill’s $10 billion for humanitarian aid while lopping off some $13 billion in nondefense funding for Ukraine A bipartisan group of House lawmakers released a $66.3 billion foreign aid and border package Friday that backers hope will be an alternative to the Senate-passed national security…

Rep. Don Bacon wants to bring 24/7 'Looking Glass' back to Offutt

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Rep. Don Bacon wants to bring 24/7 'Looking Glass' back to Offutt Back in the Cold War years, the Soviet nuclear threat compelled the Strategic Air Command to keep an EC-135 command-post plane airborne continuously — for 29 years. SAC called the plane “Looking Glass,” because its communications systems mirrored the ones on the ground at SAC’s Offutt Air Force Base headquarters. A…

Top Enlisted Leaders for Each Service Set to Testify on Quality-of-Life Issues at House Hearing

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Top Enlisted Leaders for Each Service Set to Testify on Quality-of-Life Issues at House Hearing The senior enlisted leaders for each military service, including the top noncommissioned officer in the military, will testify in front of Congress at the end of the month about quality-of-life issues for troops -- a raft of recently exposed problems including squalid living…

Omaha WWII hero Charles Jackson French to have destroyer named after him

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OMAHA — Local World War II hero Charles Jackson French will soon have his name on a naval vessel. The U.S. Navy announced last week that an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be named after French. Construction of the ship is set to begin in 2026, with delivery in 2031.  One of Charles Jackson French’s nephews, Roscoe Harris, speaks to a crowd of more than 50 who…

New bill would name North Platte Federal Building for former Rep. Virginia Smith

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North Platte’s downtown Federal Building would be named for the late U.S. Rep. Virginia Smith of Chappell under bills introduced Thursday by Nebraska’s congressional delegation. Sen. Pete Ricketts of Omaha and current 3rd District Rep. Adrian Smith of Gering introduced bills in their respective houses of Congress to name the former 1964 post office building at 300 E. Third St. the…

Republicans rail over Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin not disclosing hospital stay

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Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate railed over the Department of Defense not publicly disclosing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin‘s hospital stay this week until Friday. The Pentagon announced late Friday that Austin had been at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for much of the week, beginning on Monday and finally…

Republicans Demand Answers from the Pentagon After It Hid Austin’s Hospitalization

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Republicans are demanding answers from the Department of Defense after learning about Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's hospitalization that was kept hidden for days.  GOP lawmakers are calling on Austin to testify or even be ousted from his position over reports that the Pentagon waited several days to inform top officials that the Biden staffer was in the hospital.  Late…

Why Congress Told USAF to Spell Out its Force Design for 2050

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Congress directed the Air Force and Space Force in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act to define their future force. The call to action aims to force the services to fully articulate their long-term vision and needs—perhaps justifying increased funding.   Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), a retired Air Force brigadier general and ISR pilot, introduced that 2050…

Congress Passes 2024 NDAA

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The 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed both chambers of Congress and is headed to President Biden’s desk for his signature. The $886 billion spending bill is a three percent increase over last year’s spending level. It authorizes $842 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD), $32 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE), with the rest scattered for national…

Military quality of life a key focus of Congress in 2024

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Lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee’s special military quality of life panel hope to have a slate of recommendations on new housing, daycare and support programs by the start of February. After that, it’ll be up to the rest of the committee to turn them into law. The quality of life panel — led by Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan,…