At a press event ahead of the first official conference meeting to hash out differences between the House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill, leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees on Wednesday reiterated their intention to wrap up talks by July 27, when the House begins its August recess. The lawmakers also paid tribute to Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, who is at home in Arizona fighting brain cancer. They emphasized that McCain’s presence was felt in the substance and the spirit of the annual defense policy measure even though he would not be attending the discussions.
The two sides will need to settle a host of issues, including troop levels, a House plan to streamline defense support agencies by cutting duplicative activities and reorganizing others, and restrictions on Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, reported Defense News.
DOD photo by Master Sgt. Ken Hammond