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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

For Pentagon, Budget Deal Would Avoid Worsening Automatic Spending Cuts

  • December 11, 2013
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Defense officials would not need to find additional budget savings in fiscal 2014 and 2015 under the budget deal reached Tuesday, but they still would need to contend with sequester cuts in line with those imposed last year. On the one hand, the Defense Department would earn a reprieve from $22 billion in automatic cuts in the current year, erasing a $20 billion increase in the sequester scheduled to hit in January. But officials still would need to identify about $32 billion in savings from its FY 2014 budget request, however, as its $552 billion proposal was $54 billion above the spending cap …

Ryan, Murray Complete Deal with Partial Reprieve of Sequester Cuts

  • December 10, 2013
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After two months of mostly quiet negotiations, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced a deal Tuesday that sets topline discretionary spending for the next two years and averts a total of $63 billion in sequester cuts over that period. In fiscal 2014, $45 billion in sequester cuts would be restored, bringing total discretionary spending to $1.012 trillion. That topline figure represents a $24 billion increase over the FY 2013 spending level of $988 billion …

Compromise Version of Authorization Bill Retains Earlier BRAC Prohibitions

  • December 9, 2013
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The compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill unveiled Monday by leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees retains language barring the Pentagon from initiating a new base closure round included in earlier versions of the legislation. When the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee in June both failed to endorse the Obama administration’s request for a BRAC round in 2015 it was clear that any debate on Capitol Hill over the possibility of scheduling additional base closures would be put off for at least one year …

Negotiators Hope to Announce Budget Deal This Week

  • December 9, 2013
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House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are trying to wrap up talks by Wednesday on a budget agreement that would provide partial relief for scheduled sequester cuts in fiscal 2014 and 2015. That exact amount of sequester relief is not yet final, but sources indicate it could approach $65 billion over the next two years, with the extra funds evenly split between defense and domestic programs …

Armed Services Leaders Back Plan to Expedite Passage of Defense Bill

  • December 9, 2013
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With time running short before the current session of Congress ends, the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services panels are hoping a compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill they hashed out behind closed doors can be quickly cleared in both chambers before the end of the year. Committee leaders believe abandoning regular order and moving a “pre-conferenced” bill is the only way to ensure the 51-year streak of enacting an annual defense policy bill does not end this year, they said Monday …

Lawmakers Encouraged about Prospect of Moving Legislation to Shed Federal Properties

  • December 8, 2013
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A bipartisan push may be under way to enact legislation motivating the federal government to thin its portfolio of an estimated 14,000 unneeded properties. Multiple efforts since the beginning of 2011 to reform the process for federal property disposal have not advanced, but following a Capitol Hill roundtable last week featuring real estate experts and former federal officials, two lawmakers are eager to try again …

Defense Hawks Press Their Case with Ryan

  • December 8, 2013
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Republican lawmakers hoping to reverse defense cuts under sequestration appear to support a prospective budget deal being negotiated by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash). That plan would raise discretionary spending from $967 billion — as mandated for FY 2014 under the Budget Control Act — to $1.001 trillion and turn off much of the increase in sequester cuts the Pentagon’s budget would be forced to accommodate this year …

House Pins Hopes on Passing Informal Conference Report for Defense Bill

  • December 5, 2013
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The best hope for Congress to approve a defense authorization bill for the 52nd straight year is for the House and Senate to take up an informal conference report that top leaders of the Armed Services committees are crafting, Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House panel, said Thursday. With the Senate returning to Capitol Hill at the beginning of next week and the House planning to adjourn Dec. 13, there isn’t enough time for the bill to go through regular order, Smith said …

Ryan, Murray Continue Budget Talks

  • December 5, 2013
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House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) plan to continue talks over the weekend in hopes of forging a budget agreement in time for House lawmakers to vote on it next week. The lead negotiators of the House-Senate budget conference would need to reach a compromise by Dec. 10 so that the House could take it up before adjourning for the year on Dec. 13. The two budget chairs are trying to set topline spending levels for fiscal 2014 and 2015 …

More Difficult Decisions Still Remain, Hagel Says

  • December 4, 2013
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Defense officials still face a number of challenging budget decisions on force structure, compensation and acquisition, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday after unveiling a series of organizational reforms intended to streamline DOD headquarters. “These reductions are only a first step in DOD’s efforts to realign defense spending to meet new fiscal realities and strategic priorities,” Hagel told reporters …

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