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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

OEA Makes $175M Available to Local Districts to Upgrade On-Base Schools

  • April 23, 2015
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The Defense Department will be allocating $175 million to local school districts to construct, renovate, repair or expand elementary and secondary schools operated by local school districts on military installations that are in poor condition or experiencing overcrowding, according to an April 23 Federal Register notice. The funding, part of the fiscal 2015 spending bill for DOD, supplements an ongoing, non-competitive program administered by the Office of Economic Adjustment that has provided a total of $770 million to upgrade schools. OEA will use a list of schools with the most serious capacity or facility condition deficiencies assembled by the department in 2011 to invite local education agencies to apply for funding …

White House Missives Reinforce Split with Congress over FY’16 Spending

  • April 22, 2015
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Office of Management and Budget Chief Shaun Donovan on Tuesday criticized the first two fiscal 2016 spending bills moving through the House for adhering to the Budget Control Act spending limits, underscoring the potential for a divisive battle over spending this year, but also setting the path for a possible budget deal to relax the stringent caps. Donovan criticized the military construction-VA spending bill for shortchanging spending to upgrade military bases and veterans’ health care, reported CQ Roll Call. The milcon bill, along with the energy-water measure, is set to go to the House floor next week after gaining approval of the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. “The president has been clear that he is not willing to lock in sequestration going forward, nor will he accept fixes to defense without also fixing non-defense …

How is DOD Assessing the Risks Posed by Turbines, Panel Asks

  • April 22, 2015
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With the number of wind farm projects with the potential to interfere with military training and testing activities on the rise, the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is eager to learn how the Defense Department assesses the risk to military missions posed by wind energy development. Defense officials have reached agreements over mitigation measures in a number of instances in which proposed wind farms were located close to installations, training ranges or low-level training routes, according to report language attached to the subcommittee’s portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill …

Milcon Spending Bill Advances in House

  • April 22, 2015
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The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a $76.6 billion fiscal 2016 spending bill for military construction and veterans affairs that provides a significant boost for military construction and family housing after spending on those programs dropped about one-third in the current year. Under the bill, military construction and family housing spending would rise $900 million over FY 2015 levels to $7.7 billion. The House’s proposal, however, still falls short of the Obama administration’s request for $8.4 billion in FY 2016. Milcon funding dropped in the current year as DOD opted to defer a portion of its construction program to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness …

Committee Seeks Update on Services’ Net Zero Progress

  • April 22, 2015
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All three services are embarking on ambitious efforts to increase the environmental sustainability of their installations, with the ultimate goal of reducing the consumption of energy, water and waste resources to an effective rate of zero. These efforts — first launched by the Army in 2011 under its Net Zero Initiative — are helping the military conserve energy while increasing its reliance on renewable energy sources and enhancing its energy security; reduce consumption of freshwater resources so as not to deplete groundwater; and limit the use of landfills. The efforts also are aimed at saving money …

Appropriations Committee Asks for Detailed Analysis of Infrastructure Needs in BRAC Study

  • April 22, 2015
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Citing its concern about the Pentagon’s repeated calls for a new BRAC round, the House Appropriations Committee directs DOD to provide a comprehensive assessment of its infrastructure needs. “Though the committee is not endorsing or precluding another BRAC round, it is interested in more detailed information that would help lead Congress to make an informed decision on that question,” states the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2016 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure that was released Tuesday …

House Readiness Panel Dismisses BRAC Request

  • April 22, 2015
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee once again rejects the Obama administration’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017, according to its portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The language in the draft bill stating that, “Nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize an additional Base Realignment and Closure round,” affirms the committee’s intent to reject DOD’s request to conduct a BRAC round in 2017, the panel states …

House Panel Wants to Highlight Opportunities for Shedding Unneeded Facilities

  • April 21, 2015
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In addition to requesting a study that could help determine whether a new BRAC round is required, the House Appropriations Committee directs DOD to submit a report highlighting underutilized facilities out of concern that it is spending significant sums on unneeded infrastructure. “The committee is concerned that Department of Defense officials have stated an estimated 30 percent of defense facilities are in excess of mission requirements, a fiscally unsustainable diversion of scarce resources from readiness,” according to the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2016 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure that was released Tuesday …

House Milcon Panel Calls for BRAC Justification Study

  • April 21, 2015
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The House Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee is directing the Defense Department to conduct a study to determine whether a new round of base closures is necessary, as part of its fiscal 2016 spending bill. The panel directs DOD to report by the end of the year its “initial assessment of excess inventory and cost personnel associated with that,” reported the Tampa Tribune. Florida Rep. David Jolly (R) told the paper he supports the provision calling for a BRAC justification study and isn’t hesitant to consider the administration’s request to hold a base closure round in 2017 …

Budget Conferees Make Case for Pentagon Spending

  • April 20, 2015
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Republican lawmakers highlighted the importance of funding defense programs at the initial meeting Monday of the House-Senate budget conference, signaling the likelihood that the compromise fiscal 2016 budget resolution will satisfy defense hawks. “The world is just more dangerous today than it was in 2011 when we passed the Budget Control Act,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, a member of the Armed Services Committee. In their budget blueprints, both chambers added $38 billion in spending to DOD’s overseas contingency operations account as a way of sidestepping the statutory ceiling on defense spending in FY 2016 …

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