By Matt Vallone, Senior Analysis Manager
Main Story: Congress Back in Session, Trump Transition Speeds Up
We here at Avascent’s ‘Political Report’ hope that all our readers enjoyed their Thanksgivings. Now that Turkey Day is behind us, we can focus all of our efforts on the Congress’ lame duck session and a quick update on the Trump transition. Congress will be back in session this week, looking to wrap up passage of a handful of bills and the small matter of government funding. Of particular interest to our readers is the fate of the National Defense Authorization Act and whether Congress passes appropriations or a continuing resolution to get past the December 9th deadline. Most of the reporting coming out of the Hill indicates that a continuing resolution through March is the most likely outcome but, as always, until the votes are called it remains to be seen what will happen.
While Congress is trying to wrap things up early, the Trump transition is well-underway. Trump has currently filled only a handful of key posts, but a steady stream of announcements is likely to continue through December. Currently, Trump’s transition team has announced that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) will be his attorney general, Betsy DeVos will be Secretary of Education, Nikki Haley will be the Ambassador to the United Nations, and Reince Priebus will be his Chief of Staff. In terms of national security staff, he has selected General Mike Flynn (Ret.) to be his National Security Advisor, Rep. Mike Pompeo to be director of the CIA, and K.T. McFarland to be his Deputy National Security Advisor. He has also announced that Steve Bannon will serve as senior counselor and advisor in the Trump White House.
Lastly, while the Political Report is almost always focused primarily on aerospace and defense activity in the United States, Avascent maintains a robust global outlook. Avascent Europe recently released a paper looking at the “Outlook for Franco-German Defence and Security Cooperation” that is well worth reading.
- President Elect Trump Transition Seal: Courtesy of Donald Trump Transition Team – https://www.greatagain.gov/
- 11/29 ‘Department of Defense Actions Concerning Voluntary Education Programs’, Full Committee, 930am, SD-G50 Dirksen
- 12/1 ‘Oversight, Acquisition, Testing, and Employment of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and LCS Mission Module Programs, Full Committee, 930am, SD-G50 Dirksen
- 12/1 ‘Forces Management Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan; Readiness and Strategic Considerations’, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, 10am, 2118 Rayburn
- HAC-D – No hearing scheduled
- SAC-D – No hearing scheduled
Government Activity Round-Up
A variety of interesting reports have come out of GAO in the past couple of weeks, particularly in the space sector. The first looked at the regulation of space support vehicles and found that the current FAA framework for regulations may not be appropriate. Full report here. The second report looked at what insurance may be appropriate for commercial space launch activities. There is currently no formal requirement for coverage, though of the three firms GAO reviewed, all have both property and liability coverage. GAO found that the current posture on insurance has not been clearly communicated and that clarification of existing and potentially future requirements is necessary. Lastly, on the defense side, GAO looked at ship maintenance and methods of ensuring that the Navy’s new contracting strategy provides benefits to cost, schedule, and quality.
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