• Disarray in House GOP Leaves Budget Talks up in the Air0

    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) stunning exit from the race for speaker on Thursday has added a new layer of confusion to bipartisan negotiations to raise the statutory spending caps, raising doubts as to who will represent the House GOP in talks. And with only two months before the continuing resolution (CR) now in place runs out — and even less time before the nation’s debt ceiling needs to be extended — McCarthy’s surprise decision to drop out of the race to replace House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reduces the prospect that Congress will strike a comprehensive deal on either issue. “This is all we needed,” House Appropriations Chair Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) told reporters after hearing the news …

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  • Impact of Restructuring on Civilian Workforce Unclear, Army Says1

    The Army no longer is certain how many civilian positions will be eliminated over the next several years as a result of its latest round of restructuring that is slated to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers. In July when officials outlined the impact by installation of the force reductions that would be carried out by the end of fiscal 2018, they said the cuts in military personnel would be accompanied by a reduction of 17,000 Army civilians over the same timeframe. A breakdown of how those reductions would be allocated to individual installations was scheduled to be released last month. But now the Army is acknowledging it still is trying to figure out how trimming its active-duty forces and uncertainty in its budget will come together to dictate changes in its civilian workforce …

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  • Obama Veto Would Prompt Committee to Block DOD Nominees, McCain Warns0

    Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday said he would block civilian nominations to the Defense Department from going to the chamber floor for a confirmation vote if President Obama carries out his threat to veto the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill sent to his desk earlier this week. “They’re not agreeing to what’s necessary to protect and serve the men and women who are serving in the military, so why the hell should we support their civilians to support or work for a failed institution, a failed policy, a failed branch of government?” McCain said, reported CQ. McCain has been slowing the advance of civilian nominations through his committee since he became chairman at the beginning of the year …

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  • European Militaries Look to Increase Reliance on Renewables0

    The push to limit the use of fossil fuels is expected to force European militaries to increasingly rely on renewable energy sources to power their installations. It is “hard to overlook” that energy and environmental factors are becoming increasingly important as Europe undergoes a “fundamental” transition toward a low carbon economy, said Tom Bennington, the European Defense Agency’s program manager for energy and the environment. One way the continent’s armed forces can slash their carbon emissions is to develop sustainable bases, including permanent installations and forward-deployed camps …

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  • Ft. Gillem Celebrates Major Groundbreaking0

    Officials from Forest Park, Ga., last month celebrated the groundbreaking for the second major distribution center at Gillem Logistics Center, the reuse project at the former Fort Gillem located outside of Atlanta. The site does not yet have a tenant, but it likely will attract a large “Kroger-type of company” interested in distributing its products throughout the Southeast, David Welch, with Weeks Robinson Properties, told the Clayton News Daily. “Somebody like that will be very interested in this building,” Welch said. “Or, one of the E-commerce companies like an Amazon that wants to be close to the interstate so it can do the next-day deliveries,” he said. The planned building will have 850,000 square feet. A partnership between Weeks Robinson and Starwood Capital is the master developer for the 1,168-acre property. The Kroger Co. purchased 253 acres of land at the site last year and is investing $200 million over five years to develop a regional distribution center of up to 2 million square feet.

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  • Bipartisan Budget Talks Start out Slow0

    Budget talks among House and Senate leadership staff and White House officials have made little headway as they enter their second week. “I believe that we’re nearing a point … that we’re going to have to start making some decisions,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday. So far, the two sides have started discussing possible offsets to pay for higher discretionary spending levels. While little progress has been made, top Democratic appropriators are calling on negotiators to reach agreement on a new topline spending level by early November so they have time to craft an end-of-the-year spending bill by the Dec. 11 expiration date of the current continuing resolution …

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