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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Committee Rejects Army Plan to Restructure National Guard

  • May 8, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee Wednesday night voted to block the Army’s plan to shift almost 200 Apache attack helicopters from the National Guard to the service’s active component. The amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill was proposed by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and passed by a voice vote with support from both sides of the aisle, reported the Hill. Following the vote, the committee passed the underlying defense policy bill early Thursday morning …

Lawmakers Vote to Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • May 8, 2014
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In a major victory for advocates of the A-10 Warthog, the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday night added language to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill prohibiting the Air Force from retiring its fleet of close air support aircraft. Supporters of the amendment, sponsored by Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), defied both Committee Chair Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) in passing it 41 to 20. The committee later passed the underlying defense policy bill early Thursday morning …

In Resisting DOD Austerity Measures, House Bill Puts off Budget Reckoning

  • May 8, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill passed unanimously early Thursday morning by the House Armed Services Committee brushed off a slew of cost-saving proposals by the Pentagon in an attempt to avert reductions in force structure needed to accommodate strict spending caps. The policy bill identifies savings to offset the cuts it rejects, but those represent only short-term solutions as part of an effort to postpone significant structural changes required by the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps, reports CQ Roll Call …

Panel Rejects Navy Plans to Retire Carrier, Deactivate Cruisers

  • May 7, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday authorized funding to refuel and overhaul the U.S.S. George Washington, upending the Navy’s plans to retire one of its 11 aircraft carriers. The committee’s vote during its day-long markup of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill largely reflected language passed last week by the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. The bill authorizes $796 million to refuel the carrier; DOD officials have said they would budget necessary funds to refuel the carrier only if lawmakers relax the spending caps imposed starting in FY 2016 …

Senate Coalition Moves to Block Army National Guard Changes

  • May 7, 2014
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A bipartisan group of 19 senators introduced legislation to preserve much of the Army National Guard’s combat aviation mission until an independent commission reviews a proposal from the Army to transfer the Guard’s 192 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. The measure — introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus — also would bar the Army’s plans to trim the size of the Guard from 350,000 to 335,000 soldiers by fiscal 2017 …

House Committee Rebuffs BRAC Request

  • May 7, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee approved language in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill rejecting the Pentagon’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017 during its day-long markup Wednesday of the annual policy measure. The vote was set in motion last week when the Readiness Subcommittee included a prohibition on conducting additional base closure rounds in its portion of the bill, and reinforced when Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) endorsed the ban on new BRACs earlier this week. At the same time the bill, which still was being debated Wednesday night, includes language calling for DOD to prepare a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures — a possible first step toward a new BRAC …

Lawmakers to Offer New Plan for Reviewing Army’s Restructuring Proposal

  • May 6, 2014
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The sponsors of a House bill that would suspend the Army’s plan to shift the National Guard’s 192 Apache attack helicopters to active-duty units plan to offer an alternative plan today when the House Armed Services Committee marks up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The amendment, sponsored by Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), still would freeze the Army’s plan to move the Apaches, reports CQ Roll Call. In addition, it would limit the Army’s plan to reduce the end strength of its active forces and the National Guard until the Pentagon completes an analysis of the changes …

Smith Proposal Would Reform BRAC Process

  • May 6, 2014
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An amendment that Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, plans to offer to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approving a new BRAC round will call for a variety of reforms intended to address lawmakers’ most common criticisms of the base closure process. “Given that the last BRAC round transformed more than it closed and has cost more and saved less than original estimates, members of Congress have justifiable reservations about giving the Department of Defense authority to conduct another round …

Subcommittee Requests Report on Benefits of Recommendations Promoting Joint Activities

  • May 5, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee remains concerned that BRAC 2005 recommendations requiring the services to merge or consolidate functions to operate more jointly were not effectively carried out, obviating cost-saving opportunities, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. To evaluate the benefits of DOD actions to implement recommendations intended to reduce infrastructure and promote “jointness,” the panel directs the Government Accountability Office to prepare a report …

Smith Criticizes Policy Bill for Postponing ‘Difficult Choices’

  • May 5, 2014
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Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) on Monday attacked the chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill for failing “to make the difficult choices necessary to address crushing financial constraints placed on this budget by Congress.” Unless sequestration is repealed, said Smith, the House Armed Services Committee’s ranking member, lawmakers will need to evaluate cost-cutting proposals based on their national security merit rather than parochial interests …

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