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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Budget Agreement Headed for Passage in Senate

  • December 17, 2013
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The Senate on Tuesday approved a procedural vote to end debate on the two-year budget agreement, paving the way for the chamber to approve the deal on Wednesday. Twelve Republicans joined all 55 Democrats and independents in supporting the cloture vote, reported the Hill. Final passage requires only a simple majority …

Defense Bill Calls for Study of Underutilized Facilities

  • December 17, 2013
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The Defense Department would be required to analyze its real estate inventory to determine how many facilities are underutilized, under a provision in the compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill scheduled to be taken up by the Senate this week. The language was added to the House version of the measure in June by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) as part of his effort to cut wasteful spending by the government on unused buildings …

Veterans Legislation Eludes Enactment in 2013

  • December 16, 2013
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The legislative year is about to close this week without any major veterans bills becoming law, a disappointment to advocates after a string of accomplishments on Capitol Hill in the previous two sessions. In early fall, veterans groups were hopeful as several initiatives, including one granting in-state tuition rates at public universities to veterans regardless of their hometown, appeared to have bipartisan support …

‘Rock & Role’ Branding Campaign Raises Profile of Arkansas Air Base

  • December 16, 2013
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A marketing initiative launched by the local support organization for Little Rock Air Force Base seems to be achieving its goal as awareness of the installation’s importance to Arkansas has been growing across the state. The Little Rock AFB Community Council developed the campaign last year to raise the installation’s profile as well as to build statewide support for “The Rock,” as the base which provides C-130 airlift capabilities for the military is known …

GOP Armed Services Leaders Urge Colleagues to Support Authorization Bill

  • December 16, 2013
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Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), the top two Republicans on the Armed Services Committee, are asking their colleagues to help clear the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill this week. In a letter to the Republican conference, the lawmakers say that passing the bill before the Senate leaves Capitol Hill this week is the only way to ensure the annual policy bill becomes law for the 52nd consecutive year …

Appropriators Start to Resolve Differences over Competing Versions of Spending Bills

  • December 16, 2013
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Appropriators from both chambers have started meeting to hash out compromise fiscal 2014 spending bills in anticipation that last week’s budget deal is enacted. Appropriators plan to work out individual spending plans for most, but not all, of the 12 measures and package them into an omnibus bill. Spending bills with the broadest support — including defense, military construction-veterans affairs and homeland security — almost definitely would be included in the omnibus individually …

Defense Bill Drops Language Requiring Consideration of Community Support before Realigning Bases

  • December 16, 2013
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Language requiring the Pentagon to consider the monetary value of services provided to an installation by its host community before making realignment or closure decisions was stripped from the compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill passed last week by the House. The amendment would have required the secretary of defense to account for “the value of services, such as schools, libraries, and utilities, as well as land, structures, and access to infrastructure, such as airports and seaports, that are provided by the local community to the military installation and that result in cost savings for the Armed Forces” when considering realignment decisions outside of the BRAC process …

Arsenal, Neighbors Conduct Joint Training Exercise for First Responders

  • December 16, 2013
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Historic Watervliet Arsenal in upstate New York hosted a four-day hazardous material training exercise in late November involving more than 160 participants from a four-county area as part of an ongoing effort to incorporate local first responders into the Army facility’s emergency response plan. “We know that we would need support from outside of the arsenal to respond to a major incident,” said Arsenal Fire Chief John Whipple …

DOD Leads Feds in Meeting Renewable Energy Goals

  • December 16, 2013
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A senior White House environment official last week praised DOD’s bold leadership in implementing President Obama’s executive order setting targets for federal agencies for conserving energy and reducing their carbon footprint. “The leadership from the Defense Department in renewable energy has been outstanding,” Jonathan Powers, the Obama administration’s federal environmental executive, told the audience at the Fourth Annual Federal Energy Workshop and Defense Energy Partnership Forum …

Senate to Take up Budget Agreement, Defense Bill This Week

  • December 16, 2013
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Despite public opposition from Republican lawmakers, the Senate this week is expected to approve key agreements unveiled over the past seven days — a budget agreement setting topline spending for fiscal 2014 and 2015, and a compromise version of this year’s defense authorization bill. The chamber likely would hold a vote to limit debate on the budget deal Tuesday, with final action expected by Wednesday. Many GOP senators oppose the deal for suspending a portion of the spending caps imposed under sequestration, but the overwhelming 332-94 vote last week in the Republican-controlled House to pass the budget framework will make it difficult for Senate Republicans to block the legislation …

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