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Posts Tagged ‘appropriations’

FY’15 Spending Bills May Not Be Completed on Time

  • March 25, 2014
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Despite optimism from top congressional appropriators about completing all 12 spending bills before the new fiscal year begins, it is likely lawmakers will need to rely on a continuing resolution to fund many agencies after Oct. 1, according to experts. With last December’s budget deal setting how much money lawmakers have to allocate among fiscal 2015 spending measures, appropriators are hoping the process of marking up individual measures will not be held up by partisan bickering over spending levels …

Army Leaders Look to BRAC to Mitigate Spending Cuts

  • March 25, 2014
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The Army’s top civilian and uniformed officials on Tuesday pressed the Pentagon’s case to hold a new BRAC, telling the House Armed Services Committee the service could save an estimated $1 billion annually following a round of base closures. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said that a new round would cost less than the 2005 one and generate a larger return due to a reduction in operating costs and a drop in the Army’s end strength, reported Defense News. The last round required the service to invest $13 billion at the outset, producing annual savings of $1 billion …

Pet Projects Back in Vogue on Capitol Hill

  • March 24, 2014
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Last December’s budget deal, which by current indications will allow Congress to follow regular order for moving annual appropriations bills, also may allow lawmakers to press for funding for installations and favored military projects in their districts. In multiple hearings in recent weeks on DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request, lawmakers have made clear they will fight to protect missions at local bases and manufacturing facilities in their districts, reports Defense News …

Difficult Choices Shape Air Force’s Facilities Budget

  • March 17, 2014
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The Air Force’s fiscal 2015 budget request accepts risks in installation support, military construction and facilities sustainment for the short term as part of a strategic decision made in the face of fiscal constraints. “The Air Force attempted to strike the delicate balance of a ready force today and a modern force tomorrow, while also recovering from the impacts of sequestration and adjusting to budget reductions,” said Kathleen Ferguson …

If Congress Delivers Funds, DOD Will Budget for Higher Force Levels, Comptroller Says

  • March 16, 2014
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Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale pledged to eliminate the confusion over what force structure levels could be sustained under its five-year spending plan, provided lawmakers indicate they will provide the department much-needed relief from mandated spending caps. Hale’s statement came in response to a defense analyst’s criticism that the future years defense plan (FYDP) DOD released earlier this month failed to include the preferred force levels Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel indicated it would …

House Panel Hopes to Bolster Pentagon’s Milcon Request

  • March 16, 2014
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Lawmakers, surprised by the deep cut in military construction and family housing proposed by the Pentagon in its fiscal 2015 budget request, offered DOD some hope for relief during last week’s hearing by the House Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. “I haven’t seen requests this low for a long, long time,” said Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), the panel’s ranking member. The $6.6 billion request for milcon and family housing represents a 40 percent drop from current year funding …

Farr Presses DOD on BRAC Cleanup Funds

  • March 14, 2014
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Troubled by a steep drop in the budget to clean up installations closed during previous BRAC rounds, California Rep. Sam Farr (D) asked defense installation officials at a House hearing Wednesday to explain why the department’s unobligated balance for BRAC cleanup funds was so high. Farr said he had learned that the department had about $900 million in unobligated funds for BRAC cleanup. He was equally concerned about the fiscal 2015 budget request for $270 million for the account, which would represent a 40 percent drop in funding from this year’s allocation and a 64 percent decline from FY 2013′s allocation …

Reduction in Army Brigades to Follow Cuts in End Strength, Vice Chief Says

  • March 13, 2014
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Army planners are determining how many brigade combat teams will need to be eliminated as the service’s active-duty forces shrink to between 440,000 and 450,000 soldiers, the end strength included in its fiscal 2015 budget request. The Army’s size is slated to drop to 420,000 under DOD’s five-year spending plan, an outcome which could be averted if Congress lifts the spending caps imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act. The Army already is reducing the number of brigade combat teams from 45 to 32 as part of its plan to shrink its active component end strength by 80,000 soldiers to 490,000 by 2015 …

Inhofe Demands Clear Spending Plan from Pentagon

  • March 12, 2014
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After defense officials presented conflicting accounts over the past two weeks of what force structure levels are included in their five-year spending plan, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wants DOD to clear up the confusion right away. “Everyone knows it’s a dilemma,” Inhofe said. “They’re trying to do something to make the sequestration part of the budget less offensive …

DOD Plan Would Turn Commissaries into Business Enterprise

  • March 12, 2014
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The Pentagon’s proposal to drastically reduce federal subsidies for military groceries would force most stateside commissaries to operate as a for-profit enterprise, according to documents released last week in conjunction with DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request. The Pentagon is proposing to reduce the annual direct subsidy to commissaries by $1 billion over the next three years; the annual subsidy now totals $1.4 billion. After three years, the lower funding would reduce the average discount for military families from 30 percent to 10 percent, according to senior defense officials. At that point, stateside commissaries would need to cover their operating costs to remain viable, reported Stars and Stripes …

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