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Posts Tagged ‘automatic spending cuts’

Army’s Top Leaders Chide Congress for Budget Uncertainty

  • October 14, 2014
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The next eight to 12 months will be critical for the future of the military as Congress makes funding decisions that dictate the size of the force and how it is equipped, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Monday at the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army. Unless Congress steps in, the spending cap for fiscal 2016 will force the Army to slash its end strength far below the level called for in the FY 2015 budget, 450,000 soldiers, Secretary John McHugh said earlier in the day. “If sequestration returns in fiscal ’16 … Another round of indiscriminate cuts will gut the force to the point that we will be unable to meet the president’s defense strategic guidance …

President, House Democrats Highlight Dangers of Sequestration

  • October 8, 2014
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During a rare visit to the Pentagon, President Obama on Wednesday warned about the deleterious impacts of the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on national defense, underscoring the need “to make sure that Congress is working with us to avoid, for example, some of the draconian cuts that are called for in sequestration.” Obama added that lawmakers need to ensure the military has “the equipment and the technology that’s necessary for them to be able to succeed at their mission,” reported the Hill. “We have done some enormous work, and I want to thank everybody sitting around this table to continue to make our forces leaner, meaner, more effective, more tailored to the particular challenges that we’re going to face in the 21st century …

Rock Island Arsenal Vulnerable to Sequestration, McHugh Says

  • October 7, 2014
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Army Secretary John McHugh on Tuesday said the Army appreciates efforts by area leaders and elected officials to support Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., but warned Quad City officials that defense spending caps slated to be imposed starting in fiscal 2016 could force cutbacks at the facility. If Congress fails to relax the caps, “we’re going to be enormously challenged to maintain the kinds of programs that you see here. Less money means even fewer items bought, fewer items manufactured,” McHugh said following a tour of Rock Island. “We need to get that fixed …

Ryan Sets Sights on ‘Medium’ Budget Deal

  • September 30, 2014
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A “grand bargain” budget agreement replacing the existing Budget Control Act spending caps with alternate deficit reduction measures most likely is off the table for the remainder of the Obama presidency, but a smaller-scale deal may be possible, says Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee. Ryan blames Obama’s unwillingness to consider wholesale reform of entitlement programs for the failure of Congress and the administration in recent years to reach a deal to get the nation’s debt under control. As a result, he is abandoning his pursuit of a comprehensive deficit reduction agreement …

Washington State Receives $4.3M DOD Grant to Prepare for Downsizing

  • September 29, 2014
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Washington state will received a $4.3 million grant from DOD to support local efforts to address the impact of potential downsizing of the military and the state’s defense industry, Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week. The grant, from the Office of Economic Adjustment, will help carry out a statewide strategy to minimize the impacts of military downsizing on regional businesses and communities. The plan, developed in collaboration with the Washington Military Alliance and the Department of Commerce, will: assess the extent of the military and defense contracting footprint in the state; create a strategy and support system to reduce the exposure of regional businesses that are overly reliant on defense spending …

House Republicans Question Defense Cuts amid Renewed Mideast Operations

  • September 29, 2014
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Senior House Republicans are questioning how the Pentagon can adhere to the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps at the same time it is forced to respond to the rise of the Islamic State and other missions around the globe. On Monday, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said the defense spending cap slated to be imposed in fiscal 2016 would create a challenge as the nation opposes the Islamic State, reported the Hill. “I don’t think sequestration and increased efforts in Syria, in Iraq are compatible,” Rogers said …

Lewis-McChord Could Lose Headquarters under Medical Command Reorganization Plan

  • September 23, 2014
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Western Regional Medical Command, which employs about 200 people at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., would close under an Army proposal intended to shrink overhead costs. The proposal, which has not yet been approved by the Army, would reduce the number of regional medical headquarters from five to four, reported the News Tribune. The Army Surgeon General’s office sent the proposal to employees at the installation’s Madigan Army Medical Center last week. It could be carried out as soon as 2016 …

Comments to Downsizing Analysis Surge Past 100,000, Army Says

  • September 22, 2014
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Defense communities have submitted more than 108,000 comments to Army Environmental Command in response to the service’s assessment of the environmental and economic impacts expected from shrinking its active-duty end strength by 70,000 troops by 2020. By the time officials finish counting all of the comments sent in response to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (PEA), the total likely will surpass 110,000 comments, spokeswoman Cathy Kropp told Defense Communities 360. Of the 108,411 comments the command has processed, 105,119 were either form letters or petition signatures …

Budget Caps, Global Demands Jeopardize Army Response

  • September 21, 2014
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The fiscal 2016 budget Pentagon officials currently are working on could represent a “breaking point” if Congress fails to extend relief to the budget caps at the same time global threats continue to surface, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters Friday. The active Army, which now stands at 510,000 soldiers, is slated to drop to 490,000 by the end of FY 2015, 470,000 by FY 2016 and 420,000 by FY 2019. Earlier this year, Odierno testified that a reduction to 450,000 would pose a significant security risk, while an end strength of 420,000 would prevent the Army from carrying out its current strategy …

Stakes are High for Hospitality Industry over Next Round of Army Cuts

  • September 14, 2014
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Fifty weeks out of the year thousands of family members travel to Fort Jackson to celebrate the graduation of a close relative from basic training, accounting for $45 million a year in direct spending in the Midlands region of South Carolina. For the dozens of hotels and restaurants near the post in Columbia, the Army’s next round of personnel cuts — slated to shrink its active-duty end strength by 70,000 troops — offer the prospect of a significant reduction in economic activity as Fort Jackson faces losing almost half of its personnel …

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