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Posts Tagged ‘appropriations’

Congress Focuses on CR

  • September 7, 2014
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Passing a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government running in the new fiscal year is one of Congress’ highest priorities before it breaks for the November elections, with House lawmakers planning to begin work on the measure this week. At this point, the fiscal 2015 stopgap is expected to last through Dec. 11 or 12, allowing lawmakers to tackle a year-end spending measure during a lame-duck session. After last year’s government shutdown, congressional leaders will resist adding provisions that could disrupt the bill’s progress, but lawmakers still will try to boost pet programs or address policy issues in the measure …

Pennsylvania Governor Fights Army Plan to Eliminate National Guard Unit

  • September 4, 2014
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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) has made it clear he will oppose a contingency plan by the Army to shut down a unit of the National Guard. The plan to eliminate the 55th Armored Brigade Combat Team is not in the current budget; it would not go into effect unless the Army is forced to adhere to the Budget Control Act spending caps in fiscal 2016, reported the Times-Leader. But it’s still a concern, Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, the state’s adjutant general, told the paper. In a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh, Corbett said he opposes the unit’s elimination and urged officials to cancel the “ill-advised reduction.” With that letter, the closure threat should have subsided, Craig said. “The governor knows elimination of any unit has to have his consent. That’s the law. U.S. Code Titles 10 and 32 spell that out,” he said.

House Looks to Move Clean CR

  • September 4, 2014
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The short-term continuing resolution (CR) the House takes up next week to keep the government running after Sept. 30 will largely be free of pet provisions requested by lawmakers. As the only legislation Congress is likely to advance before the November elections, the stopgap will attract numerous requests from members to include favored projects or other policy riders, but only a handful of special provisions are likely to be included, reports CQ. House Republicans likely will include several “anomalies” in the CR, including a short-term extension of the Export-Import Bank and, possibly, extra funds to fight wildfires and to handle border security …

Pentagon Spending Plans Far Exceed Budget Caps, Analyst Says

  • September 4, 2014
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When defense officials rolled out the department’s five-year spending plan in March, they acknowledged it exceeded the 2011 Budget Control Act limits by $116 billion and would require congressional action to relax the caps. The actual cost of funding the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015-2019 budget may require $200 billion to $300 billion in additional spending, however, due to a number of assumptions that are unlikely to be realized, according to a new report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. One shortcoming of the five-year plan is its failure to fund the force structure called for in the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review and 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance …

Global Unrest Creates Possible Opening to Relax Spending Caps

  • September 2, 2014
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The rise of the Islamic State along with other emerging threats could provide an opening for lawmakers to reverse defense cuts, or at least offer the Pentagon additional flexibility to respond to the threats, but it’s not yet clear that such an effort could succeed at this point, budget experts say. As the number of hotspots expands across the globe, talk about various options Congress could pursue to pay for a military response — including ongoing airstrikes in Iraq and possible ones in Syria — has been on the upswing …

House Republicans Likely to Push for Longer CR

  • August 25, 2014
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While both parties agree on the need to pass a stopgap spending bill in September, a dispute may break out over how long it should last. With the potential for Republicans to gain control of the Senate next year, some House Republicans may push for a fiscal 2015 continuing resolution (CR) to extend until sometime in 2015. Democrats, however, want the stopgap to end in December so lawmakers can hash out a deal on an omnibus after the midterm elections. “This could lead to a real standoff,” a senior House Republican leadership aide told Government Executive …

CR Likely to Extend into December

  • August 11, 2014
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A continuing resolution (CR) needed to keep the federal open starting Oct. 1 likely would provide funding until the middle of December. Extending a stopgap spending bill through the second week of December would allow lawmakers to put off any difficult votes until after the midterm elections while giving House and Senate appropriators time to reach a deal on a fiscal 2015 omnibus, reports CQ. “This could be a lot like last year, it looks like,” House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said last month ,,,

Language in DOD Spending Bill Intended to Postpone Maryland Wind Project

  • August 5, 2014
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Language added last month to the committee report of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, possibly could derail a proposed wind farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that many lawmakers believe would interfere with a radar system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The provision directs the Navy to refrain from reaching an agreement with the wind farm developer to turn off the turbines during radar testing at Pax River until MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory completes a $2 million study on the effects of the turbines and options to mitigate those impacts …

Mikulski Attempt to Move Milcon Spending Bill Rebuffed

  • July 30, 2014
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An effort by Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski to move the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill to the floor without allowing for amendments was rejected, but the Maryland Democrat says she hasn’t yet given up. Senate Republicans wanted the measure considered with amendments and to set aside the supplemental spending bill needed to address the child migration crisis, demands Mikulski could not agree to …

Senate Appropriators Lend Support for Revising HUBZone Program

  • July 24, 2014
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A proposal to ease requirements for tenants at closed installations to qualify for the HUBZone program — a Small Business Administration (SBA) initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas — has picked up the endorsement of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The legislative change was added to the Senate version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill before the Armed Services Committee approved the measure in May. The language would expand the geographic boundaries of HUBZones at BRAC sites to include the town or county where the installation is located, or census tracts contiguous to the installation …

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