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Posts Tagged ‘appropriations’

Massachusetts Reserve Base Losing Aircraft, Personnel

  • May 6, 2014
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Westover Air Reserve Base in western Massachusetts will lose half its C-5 cargo planes starting in March 2015 and about 335 personnel beginning in October 2015, officials announced last week. Eight of the 439th Airlift Wing’s 16 transport aircraft will relocate to Joint Base San Antonio as part of an upgrade of the C-5 fleet, reported Air Force Times. The wing is expected to lose 59 full-time enlisted personnel and 275 reservists. The move, a consequence of budget cuts, will not mean the end of the air wing or the base. “We’ll remain strong. It’s a wonderful base, we have great support from the community and we plan on being here for the long haul,” said Brig. Gen. Steven Vautrain, commander of the 439th Airlift Wing.

Smith Criticizes Policy Bill for Postponing ‘Difficult Choices’

  • May 5, 2014
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Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) on Monday attacked the chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill for failing “to make the difficult choices necessary to address crushing financial constraints placed on this budget by Congress.” Unless sequestration is repealed, said Smith, the House Armed Services Committee’s ranking member, lawmakers will need to evaluate cost-cutting proposals based on their national security merit rather than parochial interests …

Milcon Bill Becomes Vehicle for House to Block Cost-Cutting Measures

  • May 4, 2014
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A new BRAC round wasn’t the only cost-saving measure House lawmakers voted to block last week during debate over the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The House also approved an amendment barring the Defense Department from closing any commissaries. That amendment, passed by voice vote, was introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) in response to the Pentagon’s proposal to reduce the direct subsidy for commissaries by $1 billion over three years. The funding reduction would slash the average savings on groceries from 30 percent to 10 percent …

House Tacks on Provision Prohibiting BRAC Round to Milcon Spending Bill

  • April 30, 2014
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The House approved an amendment to the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill Wednesday blocking DOD from proposing, planning for or carrying out a new round of base closures. The chamber passed the underlying legislation by a 416-1 vote, getting Congress off to the earliest start to the appropriations process since 1974. The milcon spending bill would provide $6.6 billion for military construction and family housing programs next year, a figure which matches the administration’s request but represents a $3.3 billion decline from the FY 2014 allocation. The measure would provide $270.1 million for the cleanup of BRAC sites, matching the Obama administration’s budget request, but representing a $181.3 million drop from current year funding. The bill would allocate $45 billion for medical services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, including mental health care, job training and suicide prevention efforts, reported the Hill.

Officials Break Ground on Ft. Belvoir Highway Expansion

  • April 29, 2014
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Leaders from northern Virginia broke ground Monday on a project to widen a 3.5-mile stretch of U.S. Route 1, the primary access road to Fort Belvoir. Traffic congestion outside the post’s gates has been a problem for the past two decades, even before the installation’s population grew by thousands of personnel following the last round of BRAC …

Subcommittee Would Block OSD Funds to Prod Pentagon to Budget for 11th Carrier

  • April 29, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee plans to use the power of the purse to ensure DOD provides funding for 11 aircraft carriers. The panel would hold back half of the funding for the office of the secretary of defense (OSD) until officials commit funds needed to prepare to refuel the USS George Washington, according to the portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill the subcommittee is scheduled to mark up Wednesday …

House Panel Rejects Proposal to Trim Commissary Discount, Housing Allowance

  • April 29, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Military Personnel Subcommittee failed to adopt the Pentagon’s plan to reduce direct subsidies for military grocery stores and slow increases in service members’ basic allowance for housing (BAH), according to the portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill the panel is scheduled to mark up on Wednesday. The changes in military pay and compensation included in the administration’s FY 2015 budget request were the Pentagon’s latest attempt to stem the growth of skyrocketing personnel costs and mitigate the impact of the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps …

Congress Will Find Funds to Retain 11th Carrier, Lawmakers Say

  • April 28, 2014
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Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation have pledged to secure the funds needed to refuel the USS George Washington, which would allow the Navy to retain 11 aircraft carriers. “I am not worried that the United States is going to lose a carrier because I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, said at a press conference on Monday, reported the Hill. DOD’s latest five-year budget provides funding for only 10 carriers as it does not include $6 billion needed to refuel the George Washington …

Effort to Overturn National Guard Cuts Runs into Resistance on Capitol Hill

  • April 28, 2014
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Congress has historically been a reliable advocate for the interests of the National Guard, but in the latest dispute over the Army’s plan to trim the size of the Army National Guard and replace its fleet of Apache attack helicopters, many members on Capitol Hill are pushing back against the arguments of state National Guard leaders. A common refrain from lawmakers is that the cuts in the Army’s end strength forced by the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps are sufficiently deep that the Guard needs to bear some of the burden of the budget cuts …

Early Start on Appropriations May Not Preclude Need for CR

  • April 27, 2014
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Despite a renewed emphasis from appropriators in both chambers on passing fiscal 2015 spending bills before the new fiscal year begins, there’s a distinct possibility that one or more measures will not be passed and force Congress to rely on a continuing resolution (CR). One likely candidate for being held back is defense appropriations, primarily so congressional leaders can force movement on other spending bills, reports CQ. Also, the Pentagon may not submit its FY 2015 request for overseas contingency operations until September …

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