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Posts Tagged ‘appropriations’

Work Upbraids Congress over Opposition to Cost-Saving Reforms

  • October 1, 2014
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The almost universal rejection by lawmakers of a series of belt-tightening reforms to military compensation and weapons systems retirements proposed by the Pentagon will create an estimated $70 billion hole in its five-year budget, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told the Council on Foreign Relations this week. The department’s fiscal 2015 budget called for slashing the subsidy for commissaries and slowing increases in the basic allowance for housing, along with retiring its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft and other weapons. “These were what we considered to be pretty reasonable approaches, but Congress said ‘No …

Ryan Sets Sights on ‘Medium’ Budget Deal

  • September 30, 2014
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A “grand bargain” budget agreement replacing the existing Budget Control Act spending caps with alternate deficit reduction measures most likely is off the table for the remainder of the Obama presidency, but a smaller-scale deal may be possible, says Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee. Ryan blames Obama’s unwillingness to consider wholesale reform of entitlement programs for the failure of Congress and the administration in recent years to reach a deal to get the nation’s debt under control. As a result, he is abandoning his pursuit of a comprehensive deficit reduction agreement …

House Republicans Question Defense Cuts amid Renewed Mideast Operations

  • September 29, 2014
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Senior House Republicans are questioning how the Pentagon can adhere to the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps at the same time it is forced to respond to the rise of the Islamic State and other missions around the globe. On Monday, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said the defense spending cap slated to be imposed in fiscal 2016 would create a challenge as the nation opposes the Islamic State, reported the Hill. “I don’t think sequestration and increased efforts in Syria, in Iraq are compatible,” Rogers said …

Budget Caps, Global Demands Jeopardize Army Response

  • September 21, 2014
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The fiscal 2016 budget Pentagon officials currently are working on could represent a “breaking point” if Congress fails to extend relief to the budget caps at the same time global threats continue to surface, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters Friday. The active Army, which now stands at 510,000 soldiers, is slated to drop to 490,000 by the end of FY 2015, 470,000 by FY 2016 and 420,000 by FY 2019. Earlier this year, Odierno testified that a reduction to 450,000 would pose a significant security risk, while an end strength of 420,000 would prevent the Army from carrying out its current strategy …

CR Headed to President following Senate Approval

  • September 18, 2014
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A continuing resolution to fund the federal government through Dec. 11 is heading to the White House for President Obama’s signature, after the Senate on Thursday passed the stopgap by a 78-22 vote during a relatively uneventful session. The fiscal 2015 spending measure also includes the president’s request for authorization to arm and equip Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State. The Senate did not, however, hold a separate vote on the language since the House already added it to the bill Wednesday as an amendment. Still to be determined when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill following the midterm elections is how they will fund agencies for the remainder of the fiscal year …

Senate Expected to Send CR to President Today

  • September 17, 2014
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The Senate on Thursday plans to quickly approve a fiscal 2015 continuing resolution to keep the federal government running through Dec. 11, after the House on Wednesday passed the measure by a 319-108 vote. The Senate will debate the stopgap for up to four-and-a-half hours Thursday afternoon before taking a final vote, reported CQ. The chamber won’t need to hold a separate vote on authorizing the United States to train and equip Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State since the House added that language as an amendment to the CR on Wednesday …

CR on Path for Approval

  • September 16, 2014
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As the House on Tuesday began to debate an amendment to a fiscal 2015 continuing resolution authorizing the administration to support Syrian rebels, there appears to be sufficient bipartisan support in both chambers to pass the amendment along with the underlying stopgap spending bill. The House is expected to finish floor debate and vote on the amendment and CR on Wednesday. The Senate plans to vote on the stopgap, which would fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by the end of the week …

House Sets Plan for Moving CR, Language to Support Syrian Rebels

  • September 15, 2014
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The House plans to vote Wednesday or Thursday on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through Dec. 11 that would include a debate over an amendment authorizing the Obama administration to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State. If the fiscal 2015 stopgap passes in the House, the Senate would take it up before the end of the week. On Monday night, House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) expressed confidence that both the CR and the language authorizing the arming of Syrian rebels would pass …

Top House Appropriator Seeks Omnibus during Lame-Duck Session

  • September 14, 2014
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Harold Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is trying to steer House leaders to embrace a yearend fiscal 2015 omnibus spending package during a lame-duck session when the continuing resolution now under consideration would run out. Rogers is hoping to recreate the 12-bill package he negotiated with his Senate counterpart Barbara Mikulski for FY 2014 in less than a month last December and January, reported CQ. “I want to see us get our business done and come in to the new year with a clean slate. I don’t want the new Congress in January to spend their first weeks or months dealing with past problems. I’d like to have a fresh start …

House to Take up CR Next Week

  • September 11, 2014
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The House is expected to vote by next Wednesday on a continuing resolution (CR) needed to keep the federal government running after Sept. 30, even as Republican leaders have not yet decided whether to include language requested by President Obama authorizing the training and arming of Syrian rebels who are fighting the Islamic State. Regardless of the House leadership’s decision, the rest of the fiscal 2015 stopgap spending bill, which would fund the government through Dec. 11, will remain unchanged from the version introduced Tuesday, reported CQ. At the same time, other issues that could endanger support for the CR, including a short-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, seem to have diminished with the discussion over how to respond to the Islamic State now the primary focus …

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