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Posts Tagged ‘appropriations’

Republican Support to Exceed Defense Budget Cap Extends beyond Armed Services Panel

  • March 3, 2015
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The aim of House Republicans to provide the Pentagon relief from the stringent Budget Control Act spending cap for fiscal 2016 goes beyond Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee, and signals a sharp split between defense hawks and fiscal conservatives. This week it was learned that 70 House Republicans wrote Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Feb. 26 to recommend allocating at least $561 billion for national security next year, a level equivalent to the president’s budget request. The letter echoes the sentiment of defense hawks that adhering to the statutory cap for defense spending threatens national security …

McCain, Reed Back Infrastructure Consolidation

  • March 2, 2015
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In a letter urging the Senate Budget Committee to break the statutory spending cap in its fiscal 2016 budget resolution, the leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee endorses management reforms “that could reduce or consolidate military headquarters, commands and infrastructure.” The letter from Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) and ranking member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) lists multiple initiatives needed to ensure DOD uses its funding more efficiently — including acquisition reform and slowing the rate of growth of military compensation — but it does not mention approving the department’s request for a new BRAC round. Savings from such cost-cutting reforms should be reinvested to provide more funding for the warfighter, they say …

President’s FY’16 Request Falls Short of DOD’s Needs, HASC Republicans Say

  • March 1, 2015
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Funding for national security should be set at $577 billion in fiscal 2016, a level that is $16 billion higher than President Obama’s budget request and $54 billion higher than next year’s mandated spending cap, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) on Friday urged the chairman of the chamber’s Budget Committee. In a “views and estimates” letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), Thornberry points to “a wide array of serious, complex threats” facing the nation, including terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, “sophisticated competitors” such as Russia and China, and the new domain of cyber warfare. “If this is not feasible in the first year, the committee recommends, at a minimum, last year’s House-passed budget resolution level of $566 billion for national defense in the base budget for FY16 with restoration to pre-sequestration-level funding in FY17 and out …

Defense Appropriations Panel Sticking to Budget Cap, Chairman Tells Navy Officials

  • February 26, 2015
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House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen pressed Navy Secretary Ray Mabus at a hearing Thursday to reveal what priorities would be cut from the service’s fiscal 2016 budget request if it is forced to adhere to the Budget Control Act spending cap. “We’d like, actually, a list of what you would have to do under [a] sequestration scenario,” Frelinghuysen told Mabus during his panel’s first budget hearing of the year. Mabus maintained that the administration’s proposal was the “minimum budget” for the Navy and Marine Corps to meet the defense strategy, but Frelinghuysen insisted the subcommittee needs to prepare for the likelihood that Congress does not strike a deal lifting the defense spending cap …

McCain Hones Strategy to Defeat Budget Caps

  • February 26, 2015
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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Wednesday vowed to spearhead an effort to provide the Defense Department relief from the statutory spending caps. “I will not vote for a budget in the United States Senate that has sequestration in it. I can’t do that to the men and women who are serving,” McCain said at a New America Foundation conference, reported the Hill. “Next week, [Defense Secretary] Ash Carter is going to come over with a budget and then we’re going to have one hell of a fight over sequestration …

Budget Hearing to Focus on DOD’s Declining Investment in Facilities

  • February 26, 2015
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee next week will hold a hearing to assess the long-term impact of the steep cuts in spending on facilities spurred by the Budget Control Act. “The budget reductions, compounded by the deep cut of sequestration, have placed a significant strain on installation investment accounts and forced the acceptance of increased risk within aging infrastructure,” according to a statement from the committee …

House, Senate Face Competing Forces in Crafting FY’16 Budget Resolution

  • February 23, 2015
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The House and Senate Budget committees are getting ready to draft fiscal 2016 budget resolutions, but with Republicans divided over whether — and how — to break the statutory spending caps, it’s too early to predict how they will come up with spending levels that satisfy both defense and fiscal hawks. The House committee is more likely to stick with the existing Budget Control Act caps, but the resulting resolution could yield discretionary spending levels perceived by lawmakers from both parties as too low for defense and non-defense programs. That outcome could lead to a budget deal later this year similar to the one struck by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray in December 2013 that offered the Pentagon limited relief above the FY 2014 and 2015 caps, reported CQ …

Finding Consensus on Best Approach to Reforming Commissary Benefit Proves Elusive

  • February 22, 2015
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Neither the Pentagon’s plan for slashing the federal subsidy for military grocery stores nor a congressional commission’s recommendations for gaining efficiencies in the commissary system will prove successful, according to two recent analyses. Last month, the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission called for consolidating DOD’s three exchange services with the Defense Commissary Agency as a way to maintain the benefits of all base stores. Consolidating those four organizations into a new Defense Resale Activity, though, would cost $466 million and take from six to nine years to carry out, according to a position paper from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. The upfront costs wouldn’t be recouped through efficiencies for 85 years, AAFES concluded …

DOD Has Not Drafted Alternate FY’16 Budget to Meet Spending Cap

  • February 19, 2015
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Pentagon officials do not have a backup spending plan for fiscal 2016 in the event that lawmakers fail to lift the $499 billion spending cap for the department’s base budget, Comptroller Mike McCord said this week. “The answer right now is no, we do not have an alternate plan,” McCord said. Budget officials had developed alternate budgets in past years to prepare for the possibility of sequestration, he said, but the department believed preparing multiple budgets was not worth the effort …

Deal to Ease Budget Pressure on Pentagon Is Likely, Hale Says

  • February 18, 2015
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Congress likely will strike a moderate deal relaxing the $499 billion cap on the Defense Department’s fiscal 2016 base budget, according to former DOD Comptroller Robert Hale. “What I hope happens is that we get another mini-deal,” Hale, an adviser to Booz Allen Hamilton, told Federal News Radio. Hale pointed to a recent speech by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, as a positive sign for the prospects of a new budget deal. “I do think there is a good chance that through the budgeting process that sequestration will be set aside,” said Wittman …

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