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Posts Tagged ‘automatic spending cuts’

Air Force Plan to Retire A-10s Poses Dilemma for Lawmakers

  • March 30, 2014
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House lawmakers expressed frustration over the Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft, as witnesses testified during multiple hearings last week that the aircraft’s value to the force could not overcome the overwhelming need to trim the service’s budget. “If you look at risks, capabilities and operational needs, the A-10 should not be retired,” Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, told the Hill. Yet, Turner said he did not know whether the committee could find offsetting cuts in the fiscal 2015 budget to save the fleet of 283 A-10 Warthogs …

Further Sequester Relief Not a Priority for Senate Leadership

  • March 27, 2014
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Senate Democrats have downgraded their effort to ease the burden of sequestration on DOD through fiscal 2021, dropping it from their list of legislative goals for the remainder of the year. Over the last 18 months, top Senate Democrats had made a push to replace the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on defense and domestic spending with alternative mechanisms for reducing the deficit, but on Thursday Senate leaders highlighted only domestic issues as their priorities for 2014 …

Some Commissaries Could Close in U.S., DOD Official Says

  • March 26, 2014
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A loss in business at U.S. commissaries due to cuts in subsidies proposed under the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request could force some military grocery stores to close, a senior DOD official told lawmakers Wednesday. The department is not proposing to close any commissaries; rather, its latest budget calls for reducing the annual direct subsidy to commissaries by $1 billion over the next three years. At that point, the lower funding would reduce the average discount for military families from 30 percent to 10 percent …

House Sticking to Budget Agreement, Boehner Says

  • March 25, 2014
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House Republicans have no plans to adjust the defense spending caps established in last December’s budget deal as a result of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday. When asked about the likelihood that Congress would lift the caps on defense spending over the next six years, Boehner said it was too soon to tell, reported the Hill. “I don’t know that we’re far enough along in that project to make that determination. In terms of the spending for defense in this year, I believe that we’ll abide by the budget agreement that we’ve already made …

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 …

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 …

Lawmakers Unlikely to Adjust Sequester Cuts through FY’15

  • March 11, 2014
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With a difficult compromise on spending already achieved in December, Congress is unlikely to offer agencies additional relief from the existing spending caps until fiscal 2016. The bipartisan deal reached late last year reversed $63 billion in discretionary spending cuts across the government over FY 2014 and 2015, reducing the urgency to revisit the caps until the agreement expires on Sept. 30, 2015. At that point, though, serious discussions on a new deal to lift the spending caps could begin …

Air Force Proposes Cutting 500 Aircraft from Fleet

  • March 11, 2014
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The Air Force unveiled a far-reaching plan Monday for shrinking its force structure over the next five years that would eliminate aircraft from all three components, 25 states and the District of Columbia. The five-year plan, part of the Air Force’s fiscal 2015 budget request, calls for eliminating 500 aircraft, with 90 percent coming from U.S. bases. The cuts would retire the entire A-10 and U-2 fleets, and substantially pare down the number of F-15s and MQ-1s, reported Stars and Stripes. The service’s highest priorities are the F-35 fighter, the KC-46 tanker and the new long-range bomber …

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