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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Senate Panel Reiterates Opposition to BRAC Request

  • April 2, 2014
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The top two lawmakers on Senate Armed Services’ readiness subcommittee on Wednesday pushed back against the Pentagon’s request to hold a BRAC in 2017, repeating past criticism about the cost of the last round while questioning DOD’s contention that is has significant excess capacity. Subcommittee Chairwoman Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and ranking member Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) both opposed the department’s request last year for a new round and their stance seems to have changed very little since then …

Alabama Congressman Wonders if BRAC Would Benefit Huntsville in Future

  • April 1, 2014
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Redstone Arsenal and the surrounding region of Huntsville, Ala., was one of the big winners in the 2005 round of BRAC, but Rep. Mo Brooks (R) warned a local audience that the area might not be so fortunate next time. “There are a lot of folks who would love to be able to take that job that’s at Redstone Arsenal and move it and they see BRAC as a way to do that,” Brooks told attendees Monday at a Washington update hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce …

House Republican Budget Would Restore Defense Spending

  • April 1, 2014
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The long-term spending plan unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Tuesday calls for defense spending to exceed Budget Control Act spending caps starting in fiscal 2016 and to return to pre-sequester levels by 2017. After FY 2015, the House Republican’s 10-year budget shifts more than $50 billion a year from domestic to defense spending, a move that guarantees the plan will be universally opposed by Democrats. Assuming the budget resolution passes the House, it almost certainly will not be reconciled with a Senate version as that chamber is not expected to move its own budget this year …

DOD Reiterates Commitment to Asia

  • March 31, 2014
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Despite a rising chorus of doubts as to whether the Pentagon can carry out its pivot to Asia due to budget cuts and a possible Russian threat to Europe, the Obama administration remains firmly committed to the shift. “The rebalance is at the front and center of our national security strategy,” a senior defense official told reporters at a background briefing previewing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s trip this week to Hawaii, Japan, China and Mongolia …

Plan to Consolidate Exchanges, Commissaries Would Mitigate Budget Cuts

  • March 31, 2014
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A proposal from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) to consolidate military commissaries and base exchanges could provide an alternate means to generate some of the savings required under the Pentagon’s plan to trim the annual subsidy for military grocery stores over the next three years. The AAFES proposal, submitted March 17 to senior DOD officials, concluded that a consolidation could save $250 million to $450 million a year in commissary overhead …

Air Force Plan to Retire A-10s Poses Dilemma for Lawmakers

  • March 30, 2014
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House lawmakers expressed frustration over the Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft, as witnesses testified during multiple hearings last week that the aircraft’s value to the force could not overcome the overwhelming need to trim the service’s budget. “If you look at risks, capabilities and operational needs, the A-10 should not be retired,” Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, told the Hill. Yet, Turner said he did not know whether the committee could find offsetting cuts in the fiscal 2015 budget to save the fleet of 283 A-10 Warthogs …

‘Empty Facilities Tax’ Costing Army $500M Annually, McHugh Says

  • March 27, 2014
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The Army is spending an estimated $500 million a year to maintain buildings it no longer needs, a cost that will rise in the absence of a BRAC round as the service continues to draw down its forces, Secretary John McHugh told lawmakers Thursday. McHugh referred to the funds spent on unneeded facilities as an “empty facilities tax” as he testified before the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He pointed to that half-billion-dollar-a-year tax as one reason why Congress should approve the Pentagon’s request to hold a round of base closures in 2017 …

Further Sequester Relief Not a Priority for Senate Leadership

  • March 27, 2014
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Senate Democrats have downgraded their effort to ease the burden of sequestration on DOD through fiscal 2021, dropping it from their list of legislative goals for the remainder of the year. Over the last 18 months, top Senate Democrats had made a push to replace the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on defense and domestic spending with alternative mechanisms for reducing the deficit, but on Thursday Senate leaders highlighted only domestic issues as their priorities for 2014 …

House Panel Demands Data on Excess Federal Property

  • March 26, 2014
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Two top members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are pressing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide data on federal property holdings needed to support legislation intended to streamline the process for disposing of underutilized property. A March 24 letter sent by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) repeats a request from December 2011 for Federal Real Property Profile data on property valued at $50 million or more which does not currently meet federal government needs …

FY’15 Milcon Measure May Be First out of Gate on Both Sides of Capitol

  • March 26, 2014
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A House panel will mark up the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure next week, as Congress kicks off the annual effort to advance appropriations bills. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said the milcon and legislative branch spending bills will be the first ones debated in the full committee and taken up on the House floor …

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