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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Further Sequester Relief Not a Priority for Senate Leadership

  • March 27, 2014
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Senate Democrats have downgraded their effort to ease the burden of sequestration on DOD through fiscal 2021, dropping it from their list of legislative goals for the remainder of the year. Over the last 18 months, top Senate Democrats had made a push to replace the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on defense and domestic spending with alternative mechanisms for reducing the deficit, but on Thursday Senate leaders highlighted only domestic issues as their priorities for 2014 …

Entrepreneurial Course Helps Separating Service Members Launch Startups

  • March 26, 2014
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“Boots to Business,” an optional supplement to DOD’s newly revised Transition GPS program developed by the Small Business Administration, is providing transitioning service personnel a variety of tools to start their own small businesses. After a two-day introduction, soon-to-be veterans in this track enroll in an eight-week online course through Syracuse University aimed at helping service members prepare a business plan …

House Panel Demands Data on Excess Federal Property

  • March 26, 2014
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Two top members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are pressing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide data on federal property holdings needed to support legislation intended to streamline the process for disposing of underutilized property. A March 24 letter sent by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) repeats a request from December 2011 for Federal Real Property Profile data on property valued at $50 million or more which does not currently meet federal government needs …

Ft. Rucker Poised to Grow after Next BRAC, Local Official Says

  • March 26, 2014
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Despite the obvious threat posed by a looming BRAC round, Fort Rucker stands to gain missions in the next round of base closures, according to a member of the post’s local support group, Friends of Fort Rucker. The installation, located in southeastern Alabama, has an array of assets that could allow it to benefit from the next BRAC round, said Rod Wolfe, a retired brigadier general who also serves on Alabama’s Military Stability Commission …

FY’15 Milcon Measure May Be First out of Gate on Both Sides of Capitol

  • March 26, 2014
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A House panel will mark up the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure next week, as Congress kicks off the annual effort to advance appropriations bills. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said the milcon and legislative branch spending bills will be the first ones debated in the full committee and taken up on the House floor …

Some Commissaries Could Close in U.S., DOD Official Says

  • March 26, 2014
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A loss in business at U.S. commissaries due to cuts in subsidies proposed under the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request could force some military grocery stores to close, a senior DOD official told lawmakers Wednesday. The department is not proposing to close any commissaries; rather, its latest budget calls for reducing the annual direct subsidy to commissaries by $1 billion over the next three years. At that point, the lower funding would reduce the average discount for military families from 30 percent to 10 percent …

House Sticking to Budget Agreement, Boehner Says

  • March 25, 2014
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House Republicans have no plans to adjust the defense spending caps established in last December’s budget deal as a result of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday. When asked about the likelihood that Congress would lift the caps on defense spending over the next six years, Boehner said it was too soon to tell, reported the Hill. “I don’t know that we’re far enough along in that project to make that determination. In terms of the spending for defense in this year, I believe that we’ll abide by the budget agreement that we’ve already made …

Closures of On-Base Eateries Likely Related to New Minimum Wage Rules

  • March 25, 2014
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Six restaurants located on military installations, including three McDonald’s outlets and two name-brand eateries, have closed recently or are planning to shortly, with new minimum wage requirements for workers on federal contracts believed to have played a role in the decisions. Last week McDonald’s restaurants closed at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, S.C., and at Naval Support Activity, Bethesda, Md.; a third McDonald’s will close next week at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Wash. A fourth restaurant, I Love Country, has notified Navy Exchange Service Command that it will close next week at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii …

Navy Retains Little Excess Infrastructure, Officials Say

  • March 25, 2014
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The Navy eliminated most of its excess capacity in previous BRAC rounds, but the service still would take the opportunity to assess its existing footprint if Congress were to authorize additional base closures, the Navy’s top leaders told lawmakers Tuesday. “We will certainly take a — a very hard look at all our capacities, at all the bases that we have, should Congress authorize a new BRAC round. And we do support the use of that tool,” Secretary Ray Mabus told the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee …

FY’15 Spending Bills May Not Be Completed on Time

  • March 25, 2014
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Despite optimism from top congressional appropriators about completing all 12 spending bills before the new fiscal year begins, it is likely lawmakers will need to rely on a continuing resolution to fund many agencies after Oct. 1, according to experts. With last December’s budget deal setting how much money lawmakers have to allocate among fiscal 2015 spending measures, appropriators are hoping the process of marking up individual measures will not be held up by partisan bickering over spending levels …

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