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Posts Tagged ‘appropriations’

BRAC ‘Conversation Has Begun,’ Conger Tells Summit

  • June 4, 2014
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Despite painting a bleak future for military construction and facilities sustainment funding, the Pentagon’s top installations official on Wednesday expressed some optimism regarding the timeline for a new base closure round. Congress is on a course to dismiss the Obama administration’s BRAC request for a third straight year, but some indications have emerged that lawmakers’ rejection can eventually be overcome. One hopeful sign is a provision in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures and realignments …

Spending Bill includes Extra Funds to Speed BRAC Cleanups

  • June 3, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee boosted the Pentagon’s budget request for past BRAC rounds by $110 million in an effort to expedite the cleanup of closed and realigned installations. The committee recommended $380 million for the base closure account in the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill it approved last month. Congress allocated $451 million for the account in the current year …

Senate Panel Bolsters DOD’s Milcon Request with Funds for Quality-of-Life Needs

  • June 3, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee added $465 million in quality-of-life construction projects to the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill due to concerns that needs such as troop housing, child care centers and fitness centers were overlooked in DOD’s budget request. The department’s $2.1 billion military construction request for FY 2015 represents a 40 percent decline from current year funding, a decision the committee said it understood given the need to provide additional money for readiness accounts. Still, “military construction is the foundation of military readiness, but it is too often the go-to bill payer in constrained budget environments, resulting in the sometimes indefinite deferral of many meritorious construction projects …

House Spending Bill Would Allow Air Force to Eliminate A-10s

  • June 2, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 spending bill approved Friday by the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee would allow the Air Force to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft, even while rejecting many of DOD’s austerity measures intended to cope with next year’s statutory spending cap. The Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of 283 A-10 Warthogs, designed to save $4.2 billion over five years, is overturned in the defense authorization bills advanced by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee. Last week’s move adds to the uncertainty over the A-10 for the time being …

Committee Urges DOD to Consider Local Reuse Potential for Military Property

  • June 2, 2014
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Defense officials should consider the steps the department could take to assess the local redevelopment potential for military properties and facilities, according to the report of the Senate Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill. “Prior to approving new construction or upgrades, the department should consider local interest, property value and related cost savings that could result from the transfer and disposal of facilities or properties …

Out-of-Pocket Costs Likely to Rise for Military Families

  • May 29, 2014
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The belt-tightening measures proposed by the Pentagon were hardly embraced in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bills crafted by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee over the past several weeks, but service members and their families likely will face reduced compensation levels after the annual defense policy bill is enacted. The federal subsidy for military commissaries is largely protected, with the Senate ignoring DOD’s request to trim the direct subsidy by $200 million in FY 2015. The House, however, called for reducing the federal contribution by $100 million …

House Spending Bill Rejects Many DOD Cost-Cutting Proposals

  • May 29, 2014
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The $491 billion fiscal 2015 defense spending bill unveiled Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee ignores many of the Pentagon’s plans for cutting back programs aimed at keeping its budget under next year’s statutory spending cap. The draft measure includes $789 million to refuel the USS George Washington in a reversal of DOD’s budget request, which assumes the carrier would be retired to save money. The bill also includes language barring the Army from shifting the Army National Guard’s fleet of Apache attack helicopters to active-duty forces …

Republican Gains in Midterm Election May Not Translate into Spending Gains for DOD

  • May 28, 2014
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It’s not clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate, considered a solid prospect in the midterm election, would result in a spending boost for the Pentagon or other policy changes beneficial to the defense industry. With a Democratic president still in the White House for two more years and the House still controlled by the Republicans, gridlock likely would continue on Capitol Hill no matter who controls the Senate, reported Politico …

Committee Hopes for Budget Deal that Lifts Defense Spending Caps

  • May 26, 2014
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Congress should find a bipartisan solution that relaxes the stringent spending caps on the Pentagon without increasing the deficit, according to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approved last week by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The measure expresses the sense of the Senate that sequestration is having an adverse impact on the defense budget, according to a summary of the legislation provided by the committee. The bill text and committee report have not yet been released. The bill includes a number of provisions affecting installation policy, starting with language making clear that it is not authorizing a future BRAC round …

Senate Committee Reverses Pentagon Cost-Cutting Plans

  • May 22, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday voted to reverse many of the cutbacks the Pentagon proposed in its budget request, including plans to retire an aircraft carrier and the Air Force’s A-10 fleet, as it marked up the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The panel, which approved the legislation 25-1, also voted to reject the Obama administration’s request to hold a new BRAC round in 2017 and to block much of an Army plan to shift the National Guard’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to its active component …

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