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Posts Tagged ‘appropriations’

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 …

Senate May Move Milcon Spending Bill after August Recess

  • July 24, 2014
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Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) has revived talk of advancing a fiscal 2015 spending bill before Oct. 1, with the military construction-veterans affairs measure looking like the chamber’s best shot. Senate Democrats possibly could combine the milcon bill with other spending measures or, even, focus their efforts on approving the defense spending measure, reported CQ …

House Considers Moving FY’15 CR Next Week

  • July 22, 2014
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House leaders are considering voting on a fiscal 2015 continuing resolution (CR) next week that likely would extend past the November elections and possibly into December. No details on the duration or spending levels are available as Republican leaders have yet to make a final decision, reported CQ. While lawmakers already have conceded that a CR would be needed to keep the federal government running when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1, a decision by the House to move a stopgap funding measure prior to the August recess would come much earlier than anticipated. Such an action also would definitely mark the end of activity on individual appropriations bills, and would leave the task of crafting an omnibus spending bill that would fund the federal government for the rest of FY 2015 until a lame-duck session.

Prospect of CR at Start of FY’15 Approaches near Certainty

  • July 21, 2014
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Congress almost certainly will resort to a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government running starting Oct. 1 as the Senate is unlikely to take up any of the fiscal 2015 spending bills that have been approved by the Appropriations Committee, including the defense and military construction-veterans affairs measures. The Senate has not debated any spending bills this year, a record of total gridlock that can be attributed to a failure of the chamber’s Democratic and Republican leaders to allow virtually any legislation to advance …

DOD Needs to Consider ‘Electricity Reliability’ in Project Decisions, Panel Says

  • July 20, 2014
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The military services should account for candidate projects’ impact on “electricity reliability” at installations when making decisions about purchase power agreements, performance contracts and other energy purchases, according to the report accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill that the Senate Appropriation Committee approved Thursday. The lawmakers commend DOD for its efforts to trim installation energy costs — which total about $4 billion across the department annually — and cited the use of energy savings performance contracts and utility energy service contracts in helping the military save money without the need for upfront federal investment …

Appropriations Panel Blocks Most Cost-Saving Reforms

  • July 17, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a $490 billion fiscal 2015 defense spending bill that rejects many of the Pentagon’s cost-savings proposals intended to comply with the Budget Control Act spending caps. The measure blocks DOD’s plan to slash subsidies for military grocery stores by $200 million in FY 2015; however, it embraced one of the department’s reforms — limiting housing allowances below the rate of inflation. The plan to slow the growth in the basic allowance for housing would save $8.8 billion in personnel costs over the next five years, according to a committee summary of the spending bill …

Durbin Not Optimistic over Prospect of Avoiding CR to Start FY’15

  • July 16, 2014
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Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) on Wednesday said he hoped the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill could go to the Senate floor and gain approval according to regular order, but he wasn’t particularly confident. Asked if the process of taking up spending bills one at a time was dead, he said, “I hope not, but it looks really tough,” reported CQ. “I’d like to bring it to the floor, I really would. I know it’s a long shot because we had a bad experience with three earlier bills, but I would really like to do that …

Senate Panel Votes to Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • July 15, 2014
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The Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday approved a $490 billion fiscal 2015 defense spending bill that allocates $338 million in funding to keep the A-10 close air support aircraft flying and reject the Air Force’s proposal to retire its Warthog fleet. The Air Force has said eliminating the A-10 would save $4.2 billion over the next five years, but Tuesday’s vote marks the latest indication that Congress will keep the aircraft flying next year. The House Appropriations Committee had embraced the retirement plan, but House lawmakers last month overwhelmingly voted to reverse that decision …

Wittman Tries to Raise the Profile of ‘Readiness’

  • July 15, 2014
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The budget accounts that fund military readiness, operation and maintenance, typically suffer disproportionate cuts when the defense budget needs to be trimmed in the near term because other accounts often are tied up in long-term spending commitments. But while operation accounts are seen as a convenient place to take budget cuts, Virginia Rep. Rob Wittman (R), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, would like to change that perception, especially as the Pentagon needs to cope with steeper cuts in the coming years …

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