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Posts Tagged ‘automatic spending cuts’

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 …

Last-Minute Change to DOD’s Spending Plan Complicated Budget Presentation

  • March 11, 2014
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Confounding explanations by top Pentagon officials last week over what force structure levels could be sustained by the department’s five-year spending plan were the direct result of a White House decision earlier this year to approve a budget that exceeded the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. Defense officials originally prepared budgets that complied with the spending caps for both its fiscal 2015 request and the future years defense plan (FYDP), the spending projection for the next five years. Sometime early this year — at a very late stage in in the budget process — the White House told DOD to plan for exceeding the spending caps from FY 2016-2019 by $115 billion …

Lawmakers Resist Pentagon Spending Plan

  • March 9, 2014
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The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee last week both criticized DOD’s five-year spending plan for providing insufficient funds to sustain the nation’s military. “The proposal before us makes reductions in force structure and compensation that will be difficult for many to support,” Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said during the March 5 hearing on the department’s fiscal 2015 budget request. Levin cited the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act as the primary obstacle facing the military, an assessment that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel concurred with and expanded upon …

DOD Stuck with Sequestration, House Panelists Conclude

  • March 7, 2014
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In the 10 days since Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined the department’s latest budget and associated cuts in force structure, Republican lawmakers have denounced the spending plan while Democrats have expressed reservations with the proposed changes. But despite warnings from Hagel and other top Pentagon officials that Congress will need to reverse at least some of the defense cuts imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act if it wants to avoid weakening the military, the prospect of lawmakers reaching a deal to adjust the spending caps remains quite low …

Pentagon Paints Itself into Corner with Five-Year Spending Plan

  • March 5, 2014
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Top DOD officials had a difficult time Wednesday explaining to the Senate Armed Services Committee the logical inconsistency between a five-year budget that assumes $115 billion in relief from sequester cuts and the spending plan’s cuts in force structure they said could be avoided with the additional funding. On Tuesday, Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told reporters that officials included in its FY 2015-2019 budget a cut in the Army’s active-duty end strength to 420,000 and a reduction to 10 aircraft carrier battle groups. That spending plan assumes that a significant portion of the sequester cuts slated for FY 2016 and beyond would be reversed, allowing the military to avoid some of the most far-reaching impacts of sequestration …

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