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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

The Trouble with a Full-Year CR

  • October 24, 2014
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While the top appropriators in the House and Senate are pushing for Congress to complete fiscal 2015 appropriations before the end of the year by passing a massive year-end omnibus, many lawmakers may prefer to move a yearlong continuing resolution that simply extends lasts year’s funding levels through Sept. 30, 2015. For some, the appeal of a full-year CR for all agencies would be getting appropriations out of the way so Congress can focus on other year-end business during the lame duck session. Such a move also would provide agencies certainty about their FY 2015 spending. For Republicans, it would be a way to deny Democrats a last chance to see their spending priorities implemented …

Pentagon Likely to Conduct Study of Excess Capacity

  • October 22, 2014
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DOD may study the need for additional base closures even if language in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a comprehensive assessment of excess infrastructure is stripped from the conference report, John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary for installations and environment, said Wednesday. “Even if it doesn’t end up in the final version, I think it’s a signal that we can go ahead and do a capacity analysis at a parametric level,” Conger told CQ. “It’s not a bad thing to have those numbers,” he said. The bill language directs DOD to compare 20-year force structure plans for each of the services with an inventory of their installations to determine the level of excess infrastructure throughout the department …

If Congress Opts for Spending Omnibus, Compromise over Individual Bills Attainable

  • October 19, 2014
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Lawmakers will only have a narrow window when they return to Capitol Hill next month to decide whether to aim for a massive year-end fiscal 2015 spending package or settle for a short- or long-term continuing resolution, but if they opt for the omnibus, overcoming differences between the two chamber’s individual spending bills should not be particularly arduous, according to an analysis by CQ. Differences between the House and Senate versions for many of the spending bills are no more than $1.5 billion or less. The House and Senate proposals for defense appropriations are only $1.3 billion apart, while competing versions of the military construction-veterans affairs measure are only $400 million apart …

SASC Democratic Chairs in Tight Races Next Month

  • October 16, 2014
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Three Senate Armed Services Committee subcommittee chairs are facing close contests in the November elections, setting up the possibility that the committee will have new leadership on the Democratic side. Of course, if the Republicans take control of the Senate, the Democratic chairs would be replaced by their GOP counterparts. And no matter what happens on Nov. 4, longtime chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) is retiring at the conclusion of the 113th Congress. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), head of the readiness panel, is in a close race with former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, but appears to have the edge …

White House to Exceed Budget Caps in FY 2016 Request

  • October 15, 2014
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The Obama administration’s fiscal 2016 budget request will exceed the Budget Control Act spending caps at least for non-defense appropriations, Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Wednesday. In FY 2016 and beyond, Donovan said, “it’s absolutely critical on the non-defense side that we continue to make progress against sequestration, to relieve sequestration, to invest, whether it’s in infrastructure, in research and development, early childhood education, training …

Sequestration Jeopardizes Army’s Ability to Fulfill Its Role, Hagel Says

  • October 15, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel praised the Army for its contributions since 9/11, before urging Congress to undo spending reductions called for under the Budget Control Act to avoid devastating cuts to the service’s force structure. “As the Army emerges from over 13 years of large-scale combat operations — the longest in its history — it faces new challenges,” Hagel said. “The world’s becoming more volatile, less predictable, and, in many ways, more threatening at the same time our defense budgets are declining …

Climate Change Prompting DOD to Study Risks to Installations

  • October 15, 2014
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DOD is preparing for a range of impacts to its facilities as a result of climate change, according to its newly released Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. “Climate change will have serious implications for the department’s ability to maintain both its built and natural infrastructure, and to ensure military readiness in the future,” states the department’s strategic blueprint for tackling the issue. Potential impacts to military infrastructure include: increased inundation, erosion and flooding damage; changing demand for heating and cooling of buildings; disruption to the supply of reliable energy and fresh water …

Roadmap Calls for Pentagon to Consider Climate Change across All Planning Activities

  • October 14, 2014
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The Defense Department’s new strategic blueprint for addressing climate change calls for officials to consider the impacts of global warming as part of all policies, plans and programs, including stationing decisions such as future BRAC recommendations.
Encroachment management plans and programs, such as studies for the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program also will need to be reviewed, according to the Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. The report includes a list of documents, plans and systems that should be reviewed and updated to integrate the impacts of climate change …

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 …

Pentagon to Tackle Climate Change, Hagel Says

  • October 14, 2014
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Climate change is a national security threat and is prompting DOD to incorporate the issue into all facets of planning and operations, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday in Peru at the Conference of the Defense Ministers of the Americas. For military installations, one of the most immediate impacts of climate change will be sea-level rise. “Our coastal installations could be vulnerable to rising shorelines and flooding, and extreme weather could impair our training ranges, supply chains and critical equipment,” Hagel said. “Our militaries’ readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed …

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