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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Senate Clears Budget Deal; Appropriators Off to the Races

  • December 18, 2013
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The Senate cleared the two-year bipartisan budget agreement on Wednesday, clearing the way for House and Senate appropriators to craft an omnibus spending package for the last eight-and-a-half months of fiscal 2014. The budget framework passed the Senate by a 64-36 vote and now goes to the desk of President Obama, who applauded the deal after it was passed. The next deadline for appropriators is Jan. 15, the date when the current continuing resolution runs out …

Budget Agreement Headed for Passage in Senate

  • December 17, 2013
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The Senate on Tuesday approved a procedural vote to end debate on the two-year budget agreement, paving the way for the chamber to approve the deal on Wednesday. Twelve Republicans joined all 55 Democrats and independents in supporting the cloture vote, reported the Hill. Final passage requires only a simple majority …

Defense Bill Calls for Study of Underutilized Facilities

  • December 17, 2013
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The Defense Department would be required to analyze its real estate inventory to determine how many facilities are underutilized, under a provision in the compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill scheduled to be taken up by the Senate this week. The language was added to the House version of the measure in June by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) as part of his effort to cut wasteful spending by the government on unused buildings …

Veterans Legislation Eludes Enactment in 2013

  • December 16, 2013
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The legislative year is about to close this week without any major veterans bills becoming law, a disappointment to advocates after a string of accomplishments on Capitol Hill in the previous two sessions. In early fall, veterans groups were hopeful as several initiatives, including one granting in-state tuition rates at public universities to veterans regardless of their hometown, appeared to have bipartisan support …

GOP Armed Services Leaders Urge Colleagues to Support Authorization Bill

  • December 16, 2013
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Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), the top two Republicans on the Armed Services Committee, are asking their colleagues to help clear the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill this week. In a letter to the Republican conference, the lawmakers say that passing the bill before the Senate leaves Capitol Hill this week is the only way to ensure the annual policy bill becomes law for the 52nd consecutive year …

Appropriators Start to Resolve Differences over Competing Versions of Spending Bills

  • December 16, 2013
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Appropriators from both chambers have started meeting to hash out compromise fiscal 2014 spending bills in anticipation that last week’s budget deal is enacted. Appropriators plan to work out individual spending plans for most, but not all, of the 12 measures and package them into an omnibus bill. Spending bills with the broadest support — including defense, military construction-veterans affairs and homeland security — almost definitely would be included in the omnibus individually …

Defense Bill Drops Language Requiring Consideration of Community Support before Realigning Bases

  • December 16, 2013
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Language requiring the Pentagon to consider the monetary value of services provided to an installation by its host community before making realignment or closure decisions was stripped from the compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill passed last week by the House. The amendment would have required the secretary of defense to account for “the value of services, such as schools, libraries, and utilities, as well as land, structures, and access to infrastructure, such as airports and seaports, that are provided by the local community to the military installation and that result in cost savings for the Armed Forces” when considering realignment decisions outside of the BRAC process …

Senate to Take up Budget Agreement, Defense Bill This Week

  • December 16, 2013
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Despite public opposition from Republican lawmakers, the Senate this week is expected to approve key agreements unveiled over the past seven days — a budget agreement setting topline spending for fiscal 2014 and 2015, and a compromise version of this year’s defense authorization bill. The chamber likely would hold a vote to limit debate on the budget deal Tuesday, with final action expected by Wednesday. Many GOP senators oppose the deal for suspending a portion of the spending caps imposed under sequestration, but the overwhelming 332-94 vote last week in the Republican-controlled House to pass the budget framework will make it difficult for Senate Republicans to block the legislation …

Senate Caucus Highlights Veterans Issues, Community Partnering for Congressional Staff

  • December 15, 2013
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Lawmakers, DOD officials and local leaders addressed some of the most pressing issues for active-base communities at the first-ever Senate Defense Communities Caucus-hosted briefing last week, including military-community partnering, economic development and veterans’ quality of life. “Communities being responsive and welcoming to transitioning veterans, and thinking outside of the box to find solutions when working with the military are important in this time of tighter budgets,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) …

BRAC Prohibition in Compromise Measure Short, To the Point

  • December 12, 2013
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The House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill adopted varying approaches to rejecting the Obama administration’s request for a BRAC round in 2015, and the compromise version of the legislation unveiled this week finds one more way to bar additional base closures. “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize an additional Base Realignment and Closure round,” reads the language in the bill …

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