• Compromise Defense Policy Bill Would Boost Force Levels

    Compromise Defense Policy Bill Would Boost Force Levels0

    The House and Senate Armed Services committees have settled on a compromise fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill that would halt planned cuts in the end strength of the Army, Air Force and Marines in the coming year, while jettisoning several provisions that were likely to draw a presidential veto. The conference report likely will be filed today. The House is expected to vote on the agreement Friday, and the Senate is expected to take it up next week, reported Military Times. Perhaps the most far-reaching impact of the legislation for defense communities is its rejection of the Pentagon’s plans to reduce the size of the Army and Marine Corps …

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  • House NDAA Would Kill Quadrennial Review0

    The House Armed Services Committee’s version of the 2017 defense policy bill would end the mandatory quadrennial defense review (QDR) process, according to a report in CQ.“Instead, the authorization bill will set up a defense strategy commission that would be appointed by the Armed Services committees on a bipartisan basis,” the article said, citing a House aide. “The new commission would issue one report and would only be continued if Congress and the president decided to do so.”

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  • Obama Signs Defense Bill0

    President Obama on Wednesday signed the reworked version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill despite misgivings about its lack of cost-saving reforms proposed by DOD and several provisions restricting the closure of the military prison at Guantánamo. “I am also disappointed that the Congress failed to enact meaningful reforms to divest unneeded force structure, reduce wasteful overhead, and modernize military healthcare. These reforms are essential to maintaining a strong national defense over the long term,” Obama said at the conclusion of his signing statement. Much of the president’s statement, though, was devoted to blasting lawmakers for blocking the administration from shuttering the detention facility at Guantánamo and moving some detainees to the U.S. …

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  • Defense Bill Requests Report on New Installations Organization at DOD

    Defense Bill Requests Report on New Installations Organization at DOD0

    With DOD’s newly formed installations and operational energy organization nearing its one-year old birthday, the Armed Services committees want a progress report on the merger. Last year’s defense authorization bill directed the department to create the office of the assistant secretary of defense (ASD) for energy, installations and environment by merging the office of the ASD for operational energy plans and programs with the office of the deputy undersecretary of defense (DUSD) for installations and environment.

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  • Senators Drop Protest over Army Cuts

    Senators Drop Protest over Army Cuts0

    The last of several senators that had placed a hold on a senior Pentagon nominee to protest cuts at Army posts in their states last week allowed the individual to receive a confirmation vote on the chamber floor. Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) had placed a hold on the nomination of Stephen Hedger to be DOD’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs over the cuts planned for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (2,631 soldiers) and Fort Wainwright (73 soldiers), part of the restructuring plan the Army announced in July to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers.

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  • 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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