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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

DOD to Shed European Facilities

  • May 26, 2014
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The Pentagon will return 21 minor, non-operational sites to their host nations in Europe, an early result of its year-long review of excess infrastructure. DOD on Friday said the moves will save about $60 million annually, and will include outdated and excess family housing facilities, recreation sites and storage depots located across U.S. European Command. None of these adjustments affects existing force structure or military capabilities in Europe, according to Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby. And no major installations will be affected. As the department continues to carry out its European Infrastructure Consolidation review, it will look for additional excess sites to return to their host. “It’s an ongoing process and it will continue,” Kirby said, reported Stars and Stripes. “This is sort of the first tranche of what I suspect will be other changes to come.”

Committee Hopes for Budget Deal that Lifts Defense Spending Caps

  • May 26, 2014
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Congress should find a bipartisan solution that relaxes the stringent spending caps on the Pentagon without increasing the deficit, according to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approved last week by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The measure expresses the sense of the Senate that sequestration is having an adverse impact on the defense budget, according to a summary of the legislation provided by the committee. The bill text and committee report have not yet been released. The bill includes a number of provisions affecting installation policy, starting with language making clear that it is not authorizing a future BRAC round …

Senate Bill Would Aid BRAC Recovery through Changes to HUBZone Program

  • May 26, 2014
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A provision in the Senate version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill would make it easier for tenants located at closed installations to qualify for the HUBZone program, a Small Business Administration initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas. The language, added by Maine Sen. Angus King (I), would expand the geographic boundaries of HUBZones at BRAC sites to include the town or county where the installation is located, or census tracts contiguous to the installation …

House Approves Authorization Bill despite Veto Threat

  • May 22, 2014
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The House easily passed the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill 325-98 on Thursday, despite the looming threat of a presidential veto over its rejection of a host of cost-cutting proposals as well as language restricting the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay. In an effort to build momentum to reverse the measure’s failure to include authorization for a BRAC round, compensation reforms and many of the Pentagon’s proposed force structure reductions, the White House lobbied Democrats prior to the final vote. By encouraging Democrats to vote against it, the White House hoped to strengthen its case for revisiting many of the proposals in the Senate version or in conference …

Senate Committee Reverses Pentagon Cost-Cutting Plans

  • May 22, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday voted to reverse many of the cutbacks the Pentagon proposed in its budget request, including plans to retire an aircraft carrier and the Air Force’s A-10 fleet, as it marked up the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The panel, which approved the legislation 25-1, also voted to reject the Obama administration’s request to hold a new BRAC round in 2017 and to block much of an Army plan to shift the National Guard’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to its active component …

Senate Panel Passes on Pentagon Proposal to Reduce Commissary Subsidies

  • May 21, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee on Wednesday rejected some, but not all, of DOD’s proposed reforms to military benefits, as it marked up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The panel ignored the administration’s plan to slash subsidies for military grocery stores by $200 million in FY 2015, but included the proposal to limit housing allowances below the rate of inflation …

Smith Denied Opportunity to Offer BRAC Amendment

  • May 21, 2014
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The House Rules Committee on Tuesday failed to accept an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill from Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) that would have approved a new BRAC round as well as reformed the base closure process. Smith, the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, brought up the provision for discussion when the full committee marked up the annual policy measure earlier this month, but withdrew the amendment before receiving a vote with the intention of offering it during floor debate for the bill …

House to Complete Work on Defense Policy Bill Today

  • May 21, 2014
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After debating dozens of amendments to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill late into Wednesday night, the House is expected to complete votes on them and move to final passage of the underlying measure Thursday. One amendment that passed Wednesday evening would hamper efforts by DOD — or Congress — to use its wartime funding account as an escape hatch for items that it can’t fit under the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps …

Hagel Stands by Austerity Measures in Budget

  • May 20, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will continue to defend the cost-cutting initiatives included in the department’s fiscal 2015 budget request as lawmakers debate the proposals over the coming months, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters Tuesday. “[Hagel] stands firmly behind the tough decisions that were made in that budget proposal, decisions that he believes are necessary to preserve our military edge in a very difficult fiscal environment …

Subcommittee’s Recommendation Exceeds Request by $110M for BRAC Cleanup

  • May 20, 2014
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Funding to clean up installations closed in past BRAC rounds would receive $380 million under the draft fiscal 2015 spending bill approved Tuesday by the Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. The recommendation exceeds DOD’s budget request by $110 million but still would represent a $71 million decline from current year funding. The spending bill approved last month by the House matched the administration’s request for $270 million for legacy BRAC sites …

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