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30 Nov

A Capitol View: November 2020

Welcome to the November 2020 edition of A Capitol View. We hope you had a pleasant holiday season. DC has been very busy this month - we've included some key pieces of election news, the appropriations cycle, and an incoming Biden administration.

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20 Nov

Weekly Debrief #54

This week’s news includes an exciting space launch, the case for legacy systems, and more predictions on the defense budget under a Biden administration. Additionally, it includes information on the DoD’s Trusted Capital Marketplace as well as their hopefulness regarding the health of the defense industrial base during COVID-19.

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13 Nov

Weekly Debrief #53

Since the last debrief, former Vice President Joe Biden has been announced the winner of the 2020 presidential election. While President Trump has not conceded and there are a few ongoing challenges, it doesn’t seem like this will be too big of an issue. As such, we will likely start seeing the Administration as well as retiring congresspeople tie up loose ends before January 20.

This week’s debrief also includes information on: SecDef Esper’s termination via tweet, no progress on a stimulus bill, DoD working on 5G, the release of the FY21 Senate Appropriations bills, and an interesting take on the submarine industrial base.

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06 Nov

Weekly Debrief #52

DC has definitely been busy this week! You’ve probably been following the news or otherwise have been inundated with a play by play of the results via your friends, family and social media. While we’re watching the results closely and will keep you in the loop with result implications, here are some stories you might have missed in the election buzz. 

Notably, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he wants a coronavirus deal by the end of the year. If you’ve been following the saga of post-CARES Act relief bill negotiations, you know that they started with House Democrats passing the $3 trillion Heroes Act in May and the Senate Republicans passing the $1 trillion Heals Act in July. Since then Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin have been going back and forth debating everything including: the inclusion of defense spending, liability insurance, education funding, student loans, the Paycheck Protection Program, and of course, the total value of the package. Both have budged only nominally, and it doesn’t appear that significant progress has been made for a compromise. McConnell’s statement could be another false alarm or real movement towards a relief package.

Additional stories include the DoD standing up the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Space Policy, an analysis on the impact of a Biden White House and GOP Senate on defense spending, aerospace primes getting more funding for classified programs, and recent DoD 5G experiments.

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30 Oct

Weekly Debrief #51

Last week, Speaker Pelosi said she was feeling optimistic about a relief bill passing soon. Now, it appears that lawmakers are waiting until after the pressure of next week's election and are hoping to pass a relief bill during the lame-duck session, after the election and prior to the inauguration.

This week in defense news is looking ahead to a world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but sufficiently removed from it: a new electromagnetic spectrum strategy, increase flexibility for employees of defense contractors, a more modern but cheaper defense budget, and increased integration.


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30 Oct

Weekly Debrief #50

Welcome to the 50th edition to the Weekly Debrief! We hope you are finding our article selection to be interesting and a productive addition to the end of your week.

After President Trump indicated willingness to pass a larger relief bill last week, talks resumed between the parties. However, it appears that disagreements between President Trump, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell were unable to be resolved. A supplemental spending bill seems unlikely to pass prior to the November elections.

With the elections quickly approaching, people in the government have started discussing their hopes for defense spending over the next four years. This week’s debrief features opinions from Defense Secretary Esper and House Armed Services Committee Chair Smith. 

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30 Oct

A Capitol View: October 2020

It's been another busy month at SMI and in Washington. Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Steven Mnuchin are still working on a COVID-19 relief bill which may include relief for small business and defense contractors. There is still a continuing resolution in effect until December 11. It is anticipated that Congress will pass its appropriations bills after the election and before the inauguration, regardless of the results.

With everyone gearing up for the election, we have a few articles to get you prepared for next Tuesday's coverage.

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16 Oct

Weekly Debrief #49

The biggest news of the week is renewed talks between the parties regarding another coronavirus relief bill. With both Chambers in recess (though they may be called back with 24 hours’ notice), it is unlikely that a bill will pass prior to the November elections.

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09 Oct

Weekly Debrief #48

It has been an eventful week in Washington including President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, his recovery, and the suspension of pandemic stimulus negotiations. Read on for more.

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02 Oct

Weekly Debrief #47

Welcome to the Weekly Debrief!

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30 Sep

A Capitol View: September 2020

This month's newsletter features a special article from Senior Vice President Ken Wetzel.

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30 Sep

Supplemental Funding for Defense Contractors During COVID-19 Highlights Fragility of Defense Industrial Base

SMI's Ken Wetzel responds to the September 22 Washington Post article criticizing the DoD's use of funds to the Defense Production Act Title III program.

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25 Sep

Weekly Debrief #46

It appears we're on the path to avoiding a government shutdown as the House has passed a continuing resolution through December 11. It has bipartisan support and is likely to pass in the Senate soon. There are still talks about the passage of a coronavirus relief bill but it appears unlikely for one to pass prior to the November elections.

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18 Sep

Weekly Debrief #45

Congress is still at a standstill and has neither made progress on supplemental relief funds for COVID-19 nor the FY21 appropriations bills. As FY20 funding is set to expire September 30, it is very likely at this time that there will be a continuing resolution. Congress is currently in talks and has not left town which is good news.

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11 Sep

Weekly Debrief #44

Today we are remembering the victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. Read the New York Time's account of how memorializing this tragedy during unprecedented circumstances is different.

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