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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Defense Committee Embraces Installation-Community Partnerships

  • May 6, 2015
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The military services should take advantage of the relatively new authority allowing installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with local governments to provide, receive or share support services for most municipal functions, according to report language accompanying the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. “The [House Armed Services] Committee notes that the authority to enter into intergovernmental support agreements is broad and encourages the Department of Defense to leverage this authority in a manner that provides costs savings and improved services in support of Department of Defense installations, military personnel and their families,” the report states …

Budget Differences Put Military at Risk, Top Pentagon Officials Testify

  • May 6, 2015
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Defense Secretary Ash Carter reiterated the administration’s threat to veto legislation that adds $38 billion to DOD’s war account to get around the Budget Control Act spending caps, during a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. “While this approach clearly recognizes that the budget total we’ve requested is needed, the avenue it takes is just as clearly a road to nowhere,” Carter told the panel. If lawmakers stick to the path outlined in the compromise budget resolution adopted by both chambers over the past week, he said, the department again will need to make hasty and drastic decisions by Oct. 1 …

OMB Calls for Agencies to Cut Budgets by 5 Percent in FY’17

  • May 6, 2015
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The Office of Management and Budget has told all federal agencies, including the Defense Department, that their upcoming budgets should reflect a 5 percent reduction below the funding level programmed for fiscal 2017 in the current budget request submitted to Congress last February. “[The guidance] asks agencies to show how they would cut 5 percent below the FY 2017 levels shown in the FY 2016 budget, as well as how they would prioritize funding add-backs to those levels,” an OMB spokeswoman told CQ Roll Call. “This guidance represents the starting point in the budget process …

Senators Decry Spending Caps before Passing Budget Resolution

  • May 5, 2015
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The Senate passed the fiscal 2016 conference budget resolution Tuesday, after lawmakers from both parties used the debate to press their colleagues to strike a deal to lift the Budget Control Act spending caps. The budget blueprint adheres to the statutory caps on defense and domestic spending, but to sidestep the limit on the Pentagon’s budget, it stashes $38 billion in extra funds in DOD’s war account, which is not subject to the caps. The House passed the compromise resolution last week. The move sets up a showdown over next year’s budget with President Obama, who has threatened to veto any spending bill that sticks to the statutory caps or provides budget relief to DOD while leaving domestic programs at the capped levels …

Panel Directs GAO to Study Impact of Deferred Maintenance on Readiness

  • May 4, 2015
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In response to concerns over DOD’s policy to stop fully funding facilities sustainment, the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee directs the Government Accountability Office to review the state of the department’s facility sustainment and recapitalization program, according to report language attached to the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The congressional watchdog agency should address: to what extent has DOD met its goals for sustainment and recapitalization of its facilities? what is known about the condition of facilities and the trend in conditions since fiscal 2011 …

Senate Panel to Take up Policy Bill Next Week

  • May 4, 2015
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The Senate Armed Services Committee, including its six subcommittees and the full committee, will mark up the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill next week. The Airland panel will mark up its portion of the annual policy bill next Monday, followed by the other five subcommittees on May 12. The Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee will be one of three panels that day to conduct its markup in an open session. The full committee will mark up the legislation behind closed doors beginning May 13 and plans to finish its business by the end of the week …

Resolution to Budget Dispute Not Coming Soon, Republicans Indicate

  • May 3, 2015
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In the face of calls from the White House for bipartisan talks to lift the statutory spending caps, senior Republicans say any negotiations will need to wait until the fiscal 2016 appropriations process plays itself out. After the White House issued veto threats on two appropriations bills considered by the House last week — including the military construction-veterans affairs spending measure — the Obama administration and congressional Republicans appear to be on a collision course. The statements from the Office of Management and Budget indicated that President Obama would not sign any spending bills that follow congressional Republicans’ plan to stick to the Budget Control Act levels while providing relief only to the Pentagon by stashing tens of billions of additional dollars in its war account …

New Effort Advances to Ease HUBZone Requirements at BRAC Sites

  • May 3, 2015
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The House Armed Services Committee last week added language to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would make it easier for tenants located at closed installations to qualify for the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone program, the first step in the most recent effort by Maine’s congressional delegation to support the reuse project at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin sponsored the amendment which would allow a business to qualify for the HUBZone program — an initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas — if 35 percent of its employees live within a 25-mile radius of the closed installation. BRAC installations currently are designated as HUBZones for five years after they are formally closed. For a particular business to qualify for the program, however, 35 percent of its employees must live on the closed base, a threshold that is virtually unattainable …

Congress Close to Clearing FY’16 Budget Resolution

  • May 3, 2015
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The House adopted the fiscal 2016 conference budget resolution last Thursday, a compromise that strips out a procedural hurdle that could have blocked the Senate from allocating tens of billions of extra dollars included in DOD’s war account. To evade the $523 billion Budget Control Act cap on national security spending, the budget blueprints advanced in both the House and Senate allot $96 billion — including $58 billion requested by the Obama administration and $38 billion in extra funds — to the department’s overseas contingency operations account. That account is not subject to the budget caps …

GOP Plan to Rely on OCO Funds to Boost Defense Spending Survives House Vote

  • April 30, 2015
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The House on Thursday passed the fiscal 2016 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill, after a bipartisan effort to bar the use of funds from DOD’s overseas contingency operations account for non-war spending nearly upset Republicans’ plans to rely on the department’s war account to sidestep the statutory caps on the defense budget. Instead, Republican leaders were able to overcome support for three amendments introduced by Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) that would have collectively eliminated $532 million in military construction funding allocated through the OCO. Appropriators added the funds to the department’s war account, which isn’t subject to the Budget Control Act spending caps, as part of the GOP strategy to use the OCO as a relief valve for defense spending that doesn’t fit under the $523 billion cap on national security funds …

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