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Posts Tagged ‘appropriations’

Unfunded Priorities Lists Unlikely to Be Fulfilled

  • April 6, 2014
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The military services last week sent Congress a list of $36 billion worth of priorities not included in DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request, including significant amounts of funding for facility needs. The lists, requested by the House Armed Services Committee, stand little chance of being funded, though, as lawmakers are unlikely to revisit the FY 2015 spending caps included in last December’s budget agreement. “It is not going to happen,” said Gordon Adams, a Stimson Center analyst responsible for the defense budget during the Clinton administration …

Appropriators Aim to Speed Progress on Spending Bills

  • April 3, 2014
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The House Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee advanced its draft fiscal 2015 spending measure Thursday, setting an early pace for enacting the federal government’s budget that House and Senate appropriators have pledged to maintain. House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said the subcommittee markups of the milcon and legislative branch spending bills were the earliest of any appropriations bill since 1974 …

FY’15 Milcon Funding to Plunge under House Bill

  • April 2, 2014
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Spending on military construction and family housing would drop by one-third in fiscal 2015 to $6.6 billion, under the draft spending bill for military construction and veterans affairs released Wednesday by the House Appropriations Committee. The recommendation matches the funding requested last month in the Pentagon’s budget request and reflects the administration’s decision to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness …

Senate Panel Reiterates Opposition to BRAC Request

  • April 2, 2014
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The top two lawmakers on Senate Armed Services’ readiness subcommittee on Wednesday pushed back against the Pentagon’s request to hold a BRAC in 2017, repeating past criticism about the cost of the last round while questioning DOD’s contention that is has significant excess capacity. Subcommittee Chairwoman Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and ranking member Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) both opposed the department’s request last year for a new round and their stance seems to have changed very little since then …

Belt-Tightening Initiative Enlists Airmen to Clean Buildings at Scott AFB

  • March 31, 2014
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Airmen at Scott Air Force Base will be assigned new custodial and grounds-keeping duties starting Tuesday as part of a cost-cutting move intended to save $1 million. Personnel will be assigned more responsibility for sweeping, vacuuming, mopping and grass-cutting at the majority of buildings on the installation located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Air Mobility Command, however, will retain its custodial contracts at buildings categorized as “prestige” level …

Plan to Consolidate Exchanges, Commissaries Would Mitigate Budget Cuts

  • March 31, 2014
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A proposal from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) to consolidate military commissaries and base exchanges could provide an alternate means to generate some of the savings required under the Pentagon’s plan to trim the annual subsidy for military grocery stores over the next three years. The AAFES proposal, submitted March 17 to senior DOD officials, concluded that a consolidation could save $250 million to $450 million a year in commissary overhead …

Air Force Plan to Retire A-10s Poses Dilemma for Lawmakers

  • March 30, 2014
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House lawmakers expressed frustration over the Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft, as witnesses testified during multiple hearings last week that the aircraft’s value to the force could not overcome the overwhelming need to trim the service’s budget. “If you look at risks, capabilities and operational needs, the A-10 should not be retired,” Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, told the Hill. Yet, Turner said he did not know whether the committee could find offsetting cuts in the fiscal 2015 budget to save the fleet of 283 A-10 Warthogs …

‘Empty Facilities Tax’ Costing Army $500M Annually, McHugh Says

  • March 27, 2014
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The Army is spending an estimated $500 million a year to maintain buildings it no longer needs, a cost that will rise in the absence of a BRAC round as the service continues to draw down its forces, Secretary John McHugh told lawmakers Thursday. McHugh referred to the funds spent on unneeded facilities as an “empty facilities tax” as he testified before the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He pointed to that half-billion-dollar-a-year tax as one reason why Congress should approve the Pentagon’s request to hold a round of base closures in 2017 …

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 …

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 …

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