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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Subcommittee Requests Report on Benefits of Recommendations Promoting Joint Activities

  • May 5, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee remains concerned that BRAC 2005 recommendations requiring the services to merge or consolidate functions to operate more jointly were not effectively carried out, obviating cost-saving opportunities, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. To evaluate the benefits of DOD actions to implement recommendations intended to reduce infrastructure and promote “jointness,” the panel directs the Government Accountability Office to prepare a report …

Smith Criticizes Policy Bill for Postponing ‘Difficult Choices’

  • May 5, 2014
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Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) on Monday attacked the chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill for failing “to make the difficult choices necessary to address crushing financial constraints placed on this budget by Congress.” Unless sequestration is repealed, said Smith, the House Armed Services Committee’s ranking member, lawmakers will need to evaluate cost-cutting proposals based on their national security merit rather than parochial interests …

Chairman’s Mark Derides Administration’s Repeated BRAC Requests

  • May 5, 2014
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In endorsing last week’s decision by the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee to reject DOD’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017, Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) made clear the reasons he opposes additional realignments and closures. “The committee maintains its long held concern that BRAC rounds do not yield true savings but rather impose large upfront costs only then to shift property between federal agencies,” according to the committee’s summary of its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill …

Committee Chair Rejects DOD’s Compensation Reforms; Adjusts A-10 Fleet Retirement

  • May 5, 2014
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The full committee portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill rejects most of the Obama administration’s proposed reforms to military benefits, including plans to slash subsidies for commissaries and slow increases in the basic allowance for housing. The chairman’s mark rejects other cost-saving reforms in the Pentagon’s FY 2015 budget as well, including plans to retire the Navy’s 11th aircraft carrier and to hold a new BRAC round in 2017. The legislation, however, embraces in part the Air Force’s proposal to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft …

Milcon Bill Becomes Vehicle for House to Block Cost-Cutting Measures

  • May 4, 2014
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A new BRAC round wasn’t the only cost-saving measure House lawmakers voted to block last week during debate over the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The House also approved an amendment barring the Defense Department from closing any commissaries. That amendment, passed by voice vote, was introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) in response to the Pentagon’s proposal to reduce the direct subsidy for commissaries by $1 billion over three years. The funding reduction would slash the average savings on groceries from 30 percent to 10 percent …

Panel Questions Potential for BRAC to Generate Savings

  • May 4, 2014
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Due to concerns that potential savings produced by base closures and realignments may never be fully realized, the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is requesting a report on the “overall effectiveness” of the property disposal process, including an assessment of sales revenue and cleanup costs associated with BRAC actions, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The committee is concerned that efficiencies associated with the BRAC process are offset with the inability to quickly dispose of excess property and the potential lack of overall savings to the federal government …

Federal Government Opposes Expansion at China Lake

  • May 1, 2014
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A senior official of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) this week said the Obama administration opposes a House bill to permanently set aside 1.1 million acres used by Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Karen Mouritsen, a BLM deputy assistant director, said DOD’s needs could change in future decades, reported Stars and Stripes. In addition to placing the Navy in charge of the land, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), would add 25,000 acres to China Lake, including about 7,500 acres that were part of a bombing range and 19,000 acres along the base’s southwest boundary. McCarthy said he is trying to get the boundaries of the base, located in the Western Mojave Desert, to match its restricted air space. BLM does not support adding the 19,000-acre tract, Mouritsen said, because it’s a popular recreation area and an important wildlife corridor.

Senate Confirms Robert Work as Deputy Secretary

  • May 1, 2014
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The Senate has confirmed Robert Work, a former Navy undersecretary, to be the next deputy secretary of defense. Following the vote, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he welcomes Work’s return to the Pentagon. “Bob is an admired and tested leader, with a distinguished career of public service, including during his time as an officer in the Marine Corps and as undersecretary of the Navy …

Wittman Highlights Readiness Shortfall at Markup

  • May 1, 2014
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Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, underscored the military’s gap in readiness stemming from the strict spending caps enacted in 2011 along with the prospect of deeper cuts in training starting in fiscal 2016, at the outset of the panel’s markup of its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. Wittman cited a number of facts to illustrate the military’s shortfall: the Air Force has restored only 50 percent of its pilots back to appropriate training levels after slashing flying hours last year …

Smith to Offer BRAC Authorization Amendment on House Floor

  • May 1, 2014
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Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, plans to offer an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a new base closure round when the legislation reaches the chamber floor. Smith, speaking Thursday at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said he doesn’t plan to offer the amendment next week when the Armed Services Committee marks up the annual defense policy bill because it would “get crushed …

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