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Hagan: U.S. to halt raises and bonuses for foreign nationals working at military bases

The Department of Defense won’t give any more raises or bonuses to citizens of other countries who work as civilians at U.S. military bases abroad as long as Americans are being furloughed, Sen. Kay Hagan said Tuesday.

Hagan,  a North Carolina Democrat and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel earlier this month complaining that German civilian workers at U.S. bases got a bonus this year and a pay raise next year, while American civilian workers were being furloughed.

She asked Hagel to suspend the pay increases in Germany.

Morning Memo: McCrory's approval rating sinks, questions remain in tax deal

ALERT: McCRORY'S APPROVAL RATING TUMBLES: For the first time in his term, more voters disapprove of Gov. Pat McCrory than support him, according to the latest Public Policy Polling survey. The Democratic firm found 40 percent approve of the job McCrory is doing and 49 percent disapprove. It's a significant shift from a month ago when PPP put the Republican governor's approval rating at 45 percent with 39 percent disapproval. (Read more on Dome later this morning.)

REPUBLICANS RALLY TO THANK LAWMAKERS: Moral Monday protesters aren’t the only ones rallying on Halifax Mall this week. The N.C. Republican Party has asked conservatives to gather at 5 p.m. Tuesday for “Thankful Tuesday,” a meeting planned by a coalition of groups to thank legislators for their work. The event will also allow for networking between Republicans and supporters. It isn’t a counter-protest to Moral Mondays, the left-leaning demonstrations that have garnered national attention for the past 10 weeks, said Mike Rusher, the state GOP’s chief of staff. “We want to tell our state legislators that we’re basically proud of what they’re doing,” said Joe Taylor, a member of the Moccasin Creek Minutemen, a conservative group that is helping to host the event. “They catch a lot of grief on Monday.” Read more here.

***In the Dome Morning Memo below: three big questions for the tax deal, an unusual new name for House Speaker Thom Tillis and more North Carolina political news.***

Hagan seeks assurances from Hagel on military assaults

Sen. Kay Hagan sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking for a report on the steps he has taken to implement new laws to prevent combat sexual assault in the military.

Hagan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said she received assurances from Hagel during his confirmation process that he would take steps to reduce the incidents of assault.

“We must take swift and meaningful action to address the military sexual assault crisis, and the National Defense Authorization Act directives passed by Congress last year are a good start,” Hagan said.

“Sexual assault cannot be accepted as part of the military culture, we owe it to our servicemen and women to ensure they don't have to worry about their personal safety,” she said

The provisions passed by the Senate in the defense bill include establishing a special victim supports unit, enhanced training and education for sexual assault prevention and two independent panels to review the systems used to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate sexual assaults.

Hagel pledges to help Camp Lejeune victims

Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee to be secretary of defense, said Thursday that he’s committed to providing Marines answers about water contamination that occurred at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

If confirmed, he pledged to work to overcome bureaucratic hurdles that may obstruct findings about the impact of the contamination on Marines and their family members.

Kay Hagan targeted in TV ad campaign attacking Hagel nomination

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is the target of a new TV ad campaign from an outside group seeking to block President Barack Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel's for defense secretary.

The 30-second spot from Americans for a Strong Defense is targeting senators in five states, hoping to create political pressure on lawmakers to reject the former Nebraska senator's at his forthcoming confirmation hearing.

Hagan undecided on Hagel

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan said she needs to talk with Chuck Hagel before deciding whether to vote to confirm him for U.S. Defense secretary. Hagan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said she wants to review Hagel's record and have a conversation with the former Republican colleague who was nominated to succeed Leon Panetta by President Obama on Monday. She said Hagel deserves the nation's thanks for his service in Vietnam. “I've got some concerns over issues over one of our most important allies, Israel, and a concern over Iranian sanctions,” she said in interview in her Raleigh district office Tuesday. “But I look forward to having an opportunity to talk with him, one on one and obviously review the record.''
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