Members of Congress were working late Wednesday afternoon on a $1.3 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September. Congress has been working this week to come up with a spending bill to prevent another government shutdown in the current budget saga—there have already been two in the first three months of the calendar year. The government is currently operating under the fiscal year’s fifth continuing resolution, which funds the government through Friday and was attached to a two-year budget agreement that included increases in defense spending. “We’re feeling very good about this,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters, according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, President Trump gave the spending bill his backing after talking with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). News reports quoted a White House statement as saying, “The President and the leaders discussed their support for the bill, which includes more funds to rebuild the military, such as the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade, more than 100 miles of new construction for the border wall, and other key domestic priorities, like combating the opioid crisis and rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.” Congress has until midnight Friday to pass spending legislation or the government will run out of money. —Steve Hirsch
Russia’s cyber attacks on US elections as well as also others throughout the west are part of coordinated hybrid warfare aimed at “breaking up western unity,” the former head of US European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe warned lawmakers on Wednesday. Retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, speaking to the House Armed Services Committee, said Russia sees a unified west “as an adversary” and because the country knows a conventional war would be “unfavorable,” it is using hybrid warfare including cyber attacks and economic measures to try to unsettle western alliances and sow disinformation. The US needs to see the election meddling “not in a vacuum in order to effectively combat … and understand the scope of hybrid warfare,” Breedlove said. Russia is also using the battlefield in Syria to warn western nations. For example, the 2015 launch of 26 long-range Kalibr cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea targeting sites in Syria had little “tactical effect,” Breedlove said. Instead, it was done to show the west “look, we can range your capitals from the Western Caspian Sea. … Don’t mess with us.” —Brian Everstine
A B-1B from the 337th Test Squadron at Dyess AFB, Texas, successfully launched a Long Range Anti-Ship Missile at a maritime target in the Pacific Ocean, marking the sixth successful test of the missile. The missile was launched over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, Calif., on an undisclosed date and hit a ship with a stack of shipping containers, according to a March 19 Lockheed release. The missile, based on Lockheed’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range, is intended to be used in contested environments, and is designed to be deployed on the B-1 and the Navy’s F/A-18. Lockheed has said it expects to finish B-1 integration this year. —Brian Everstine
Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
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