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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Senate Budget Panel Approves 2016 Plan with Added Defense Funding

  • March 22, 2015
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The Senate Budget Committee on Thursday raised a special war funding account for defense to $89 billion next year …

DOD Should Consider Trimming Civilian Workforce to Generate Savings, Defense Analysts Say

  • March 22, 2015
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One area the Pentagon should target to slash spending is its civilian workforce, four defense analysts said March 16 at a Cato Institute forum. The number of civilian workers has grown since 2009, even as the size of the armed forces has been shrinking, said Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. The Pentagon has not kept good records of the number of civilian workers it has, Eaglen pointed out, making it difficult to craft plans to roll back the size of the workforce. Conducting a round of base closures would be another way to find budget savings, the experts said …

Battle Lines Drawn Over Defense Spending

  • March 19, 2015
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The Senate fiscal 2016 budget resolution sets up a major obstacle to agreement with the House over differences in defense spending …

Defense Cuts Harming Readiness; Service Leaders Call for New BRAC Round

  • March 18, 2015
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Service infrastructure officials told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s military construction and veterans affairs subcommittee Tuesday that budget cuts have harmed mission readiness by delaying repairs and improvements to infrastructure. Each cited a need for a new BRAC round to eliminate excess infrastructure. …

Budget Resolution Compromise Troubles Defense Hawks

  • March 17, 2015
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The fiscal 2016 budget resolution unveiled Tuesday by the House Budget Committee charts a delicate compromise between the intense push by defense hawks to raise DOD’s budget above the statutory cap and the desire by fiscal conservatives to stick to the spending limits. The committee recommends exceeding the defense spending cap by $39 billion in FY 2016, but because it relies on the Pentagon’s war funding account and a special reserve fund for the extra money, many defense advocates in the House balked at the proposal, reported CQ. Senate Armed Services Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has campaigned fervently for increased defense spending, on Tuesday said he would consider the plan, even though earlier he had described the use of DOD’s overseas contingency operations account as a gimmick …

House Budget Plan Falls Short, DOD Comptroller Says

  • March 17, 2015
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The approach employed in the House’s draft budget resolution to raise fiscal 2016 DOD spending above the statutory cap may help the department in the short term, but it still would leave defense officials facing uncertainty about the size of their budget beyond next year, Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord said Tuesday at an industry conference. “I appreciate the attempt to find some way to help us, but I think that we need a better solution than that one,” McCord said. The House’s plan, which relies on inflating the department’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to provide much-needed budget relief, could allow DOD to get through the next fiscal year, but it still would leave officials unsure whether “we are going to live with the law, get what we want or have all of our money shoved into OCO …

BRAC Out, Thornberry says

  • March 16, 2015
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Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has no plans to include a base closure round in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill his panel is slated to mark up next month, he told reporters Monday. “I’m not sure we can afford another BRAC,” Thornberry said in echoing many of the same arguments Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the committee’s Readiness panel, employed at a March 3 hearing. “Remember, BRAC costs more in the early years than it saves,” Thornberry said, reported the Hill. “We have not yet broken even from the 2005 BRAC.” The chairman also argued that DOD’s estimate that at least 20 percent of its infrastructure is excess to its needs is out-of-date …

DOD May Need to Rely on War Account to Make up Budget Shortfall, Thornberry Says

  • March 16, 2015
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If the fiscal 2016 budget resolution fails to provide spending beyond the statutory cap for DOD, lawmakers may use the Pentagon’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account, which is not subject to the cap, to provide the department more funding, Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters Monday. There are “a number of options that are being looked at,” he said, reported the Hill. “We’re just going to have to take it step by step and see.” Thornberry told reporters he and other committee members have discussed the possibility of increasing defense spending with members of the House Budget Committee …

House Panel to Mark up Authorization Bill Next Month

  • March 16, 2015
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Six subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee will begin marking up the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill the week of April 20, with the full committee completing the process on April 29, Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said Monday. The annual defense policy bill is scheduled to go to the House floor in mid-May, he said. The chairman also revealed that he would include language in the authorization bill to overhaul DOD’s acquisition process. Many experts had assumed the acquisition reform legislation would be taken up as a stand-alone bill …

Subcommittee Chairs Remain Hostile toward New BRAC Round

  • March 15, 2015
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Now that the House and Senate panels responsible for BRAC have held their hearings on the administration’s fiscal 2016 budget request, it’s clear that the two subcommittee chairs are no less opposed to green lighting the Pentagon’s request to hold a new BRAC round than they have been in the past. Last Wednesday, Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services’ Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee, was upfront about her views on the matter, telling the installation chiefs for DOD and each of the services that her “going-in position” was that she is opposed to BRAC. At the previous week’s House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee hearing, Chairman Rob Wittman (R-Va.) never stated his opposition to the department’s BRAC proposal but asked questions designed to bolster arguments against the request …

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