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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Negotiators Hope to Announce Budget Deal This Week

  • December 9, 2013
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House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are trying to wrap up talks by Wednesday on a budget agreement that would provide partial relief for scheduled sequester cuts in fiscal 2014 and 2015. That exact amount of sequester relief is not yet final, but sources indicate it could approach $65 billion over the next two years, with the extra funds evenly split between defense and domestic programs …

Armed Services Leaders Back Plan to Expedite Passage of Defense Bill

  • December 9, 2013
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With time running short before the current session of Congress ends, the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services panels are hoping a compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill they hashed out behind closed doors can be quickly cleared in both chambers before the end of the year. Committee leaders believe abandoning regular order and moving a “pre-conferenced” bill is the only way to ensure the 51-year streak of enacting an annual defense policy bill does not end this year, they said Monday …

Willow Grove LRA Prepares for Next Steps in Redevelopment

  • December 8, 2013
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The LRA for the former Naval Air Station Willow Grove is eager to move ahead with the redevelopment process as several milestones approach. The Navy is expected to release shortly the environmental impact statement for the property located outside of Philadelphia. “I’m still hoping this month,” Horsham LRA Executive Director Mike McGee told the Hatboro-Horsham Patch. “We certainly want to know what they say about our plan …

Soldiers Expected to Benefit from Loosening of Ft. Drum’s Housing Market

  • December 8, 2013
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The North Country region of New York surrounding Fort Drum, typically a very tight housing market, now has a 5 percent vacancy rate, a development that will make it easier for soldiers stationed there to find accommodations in the Watertown area. As a result, military personnel should have more options in the community, and landlords will be forced to compete with newer properties, said James Wright, executive director of the Development Authority of the North Country. “That dynamic has now changed, and it will change the interaction within the community …

Lawmakers Encouraged about Prospect of Moving Legislation to Shed Federal Properties

  • December 8, 2013
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A bipartisan push may be under way to enact legislation motivating the federal government to thin its portfolio of an estimated 14,000 unneeded properties. Multiple efforts since the beginning of 2011 to reform the process for federal property disposal have not advanced, but following a Capitol Hill roundtable last week featuring real estate experts and former federal officials, two lawmakers are eager to try again …

DOD Issues Rule for Reviewing Projects Posing Potential Risk to Military Operations

  • December 8, 2013
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The Pentagon issued a final rule last week outlining the evaluation process for determining whether proposed energy projects, such as wind farms, could interfere with military testing or training activities. Lawmakers included a provision in the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill, section 358, calling for DOD to outline procedures to ensure commercial renewable energy projects do not pose a risk to national security. The rule applies to applications referred to DOD from the Department of Transportation (DOT) for projects that could affect navigable airspace …

Defense Hawks Press Their Case with Ryan

  • December 8, 2013
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Republican lawmakers hoping to reverse defense cuts under sequestration appear to support a prospective budget deal being negotiated by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash). That plan would raise discretionary spending from $967 billion — as mandated for FY 2014 under the Budget Control Act — to $1.001 trillion and turn off much of the increase in sequester cuts the Pentagon’s budget would be forced to accommodate this year …

Veterans Courts Offer Treatment, Rehabilitation for Offenders

  • December 5, 2013
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The rapid growth of veterans courts has made a significant difference in the lives of veterans, cutting their number of arrests by 88 percent in the year after entering the special court. Since the first veterans treatment court was founded in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2008, the number of veteran courts across the country has rapidly grown to 130. Speaking this week at the first national Vet Court Conference, Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki said that two-thirds of veterans who come before the veterans courts successfully complete their treatment …

LRA Expects to Complete Deal Soon to Transfer Ft. Gillem

  • December 5, 2013
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The Forest Park/Fort Gillem Implementation Local Redevelopment Authority expects to complete the purchase of the former Army post located outside of Atlanta by the end of February. “We will be closing on the property between Jan. 24 and Feb. 26,” LRA Executive Director Fred Bryant said during a recent meeting of the authority. “The Army will not move the date,” he said …

House Pins Hopes on Passing Informal Conference Report for Defense Bill

  • December 5, 2013
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The best hope for Congress to approve a defense authorization bill for the 52nd straight year is for the House and Senate to take up an informal conference report that top leaders of the Armed Services committees are crafting, Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House panel, said Thursday. With the Senate returning to Capitol Hill at the beginning of next week and the House planning to adjourn Dec. 13, there isn’t enough time for the bill to go through regular order, Smith said …

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