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Posts Tagged ‘appropriations’

Optimism over Spending Bills Dims after Senate Dispute

  • June 19, 2014
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Apparent momentum in Congress to pass individual spending bills through regular order took a wrong turn Thursday after the Senate suspended debate on a package of three spending bills after the two parties failed to reach agreement on dealing with amendments. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled the fiscal 2015 “minibus” — made up of the Commerce-Justice-Science, Transportation-HUD and Agriculture measures — from the Senate floor after Republicans scoffed at Reid’s insistence on a 60-vote threshold to pass amendments …

House Votes to Oppose BRAC, Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • June 19, 2014
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In two votes that succinctly summarize the challenge the Pentagon faces in planning for mandated budget cuts, House lawmakers voted Thursday night to bar DOD from spending any funds to plan for or carry out another BRAC round, and to prevent it from implementing the Air Force’s proposal to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. The two votes came during House debate of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. Final passage of the bill is expected today …

Despite Long Odds, BRAC Still Worth Fighting For, James Says

  • June 18, 2014
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Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James is pessimistic about the prospect that Congress will approve the Pentagon’s request for a new BRAC round in 2017, but believes DOD will continue trying to persuade lawmakers of its importance at a time when it is coping with stringent spending caps. “As a person who came out of business, the last things a corporation would do is spend money on facilities that are no longer needed,” James told defense reporters Wednesday. “You would never, never, never run a business this way. I realize government is not a business. But there are certain principles [that] make good common sense …

White House Opposes Defense Spending Bill over BRAC, Compensation Reform

  • June 17, 2014
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The White House on Tuesday said it “strongly opposes” House passage of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill over its failure to include a variety of cost-saving reforms, but fell short of issuing a veto threat. “Without congressional support for meaningful compensation reforms and other cost-saving measures, force structure changes, and flexibility to manage weapon systems and infrastructure, there is an increased risk to the department’s ability to implement the president’s defense strategy, which will contribute to a military that will be less capable of responding effectively to future challenges …

DOD Funding Needed to Accelerate Transportation Projects, Appropriators Say

  • June 16, 2014
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The Pentagon should allocate funding for transportation projects outside the gates of military installations to help host communities accommodate increases in traffic stemming from mission growth, according to the report from the Senate Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill. “By including mission growth transportation projects as eligible infrastructure projects for federal defense funding, important improvements can be made while creating jobs and strengthening national security …

Emboldened Tea Party Republicans Could Slow Progress on Spending Bills

  • June 15, 2014
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With Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the favorite to replace Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as House majority leader following his stunning primary defeat last week, House leadership’s goal of passing all 12 individual spending bills before the new fiscal year begins seemingly will remain on track. McCarthy, an establishment Republican, supported the December budget deal relaxing Budget Control Act spending caps for fiscal 2014 and 2015 and, as result, favors the overall spending levels reflected in next year’s appropriations bills over the option of a continuing resolution …

Consideration of Milcon Spending Bill Pushed Back in Senate

  • June 12, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending measure will not be among the first appropriations bills that go to the Senate floor, the chamber’s Appropriations Committee announced this week. Instead, a “minibus” of three other spending bills — Commerce, Justice and Science; Transportation-HUD; and Agriculture — will go to the Senate floor next week, delaying debate of the milcon bill until later in June or July, reported CQ. The House passed its milcon spending bill, H.R. 4486, on April 30 …

Appropriators Envision Larger Role for Energy Conservation Program

  • June 12, 2014
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DOD’s Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP) should shift from an initiative focused on small, rapid-payback projects to one that funds larger energy security and renewable energy projects, according to the report from the Senate Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill. “The committee urges DOD and the services to compete projects that will produce significant ‘game-changing’ improvements to reduce carbon emissions, energy consumption and energy costs, as well as projects to enhance installation energy security,” the report states …

Cantor Defeat Likely a Setback for Defense Industry

  • June 11, 2014
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Tuesday’s stunning primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) removes the defense industry’s most reliable supporter from the chamber’s leadership, according to experts. More significantly for defense communities, it raises the chances that an emboldened tea party succeeds in pushing for additional spending reductions or, at a minimum, quashes any future budget deals from reversing sequestration cuts beyond fiscal 2015 …

Panel Rejects Amendment to Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • June 10, 2014
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The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted down an amendment to reallocate Air Force funds to keep the A-10 close air support aircraft flying next year, making it the first congressional panel to support the Air Force’s plan to retire the fleet. The committee rejected the amendment from Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) by a 23-13 vote before approving the underlying fiscal 2015 defense spending measure by voice vote. Last month, versions of the FY 2015 defense authorization bill approved by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee both called for funding to keep the A-10 “Warthog” in the air …

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