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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Authorization Bill on Track to Pass Senate Friday

  • December 11, 2014
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The Senate most likely will clear the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill sometime Friday before sending it to President Obama’s desk for his signature. On Thursday, the chamber voted to limit debate on the annual policy measure, H.R. 3979, triggering 30 hours of debate prior to a final vote. The debate could be cut short through an agreement to expedite the final vote, but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has vowed to object to such requests, reported CQ. Coburn pledged to block the legislation over the inclusion of almost 100 public lands provisions — including conveyances, expansions of the National Park system and changes in how public lands are managed — in the authorization bill, but his options are limited, beyond slowing the process …

Wittman Remains at Helm of House Readiness Panel

  • December 11, 2014
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Three of the seven panels that make up the House Armed Services Committee will pass the gavel to new chairmen in the 114th Congress, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman-elect of the committee, announced Thursday. Keeping his post, however, as chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, which oversees installations and BRAC policy, will be Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.). Wittman, who was first elected to Congress in December 2007, took over the subcommittee at the beginning of the 113th Congress …

House Expected to Approve FY’15 Spending Package

  • December 10, 2014
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Despite opposition from both conservatives and liberals, the House appears poised to pass the $1.1 trillion spending package on Thursday that would fund all government agencies except for the Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of fiscal 2015. House leaders will be relying on a significant number of Democratic votes as at least 50 Republicans are expected to oppose the “CRomnibus” because it fails to block President Obama’s executive actions to shield up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation …

Commissaries Earn Reprieve in Omnibus

  • December 10, 2014
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The massive omnibus spending bill unveiled Tuesday would restore most of the $100 million cut in the federal subsidy for military grocery stores included in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, a move that should ensure commissary operations remain at current levels. The FY 2015 omnibus, which would fund almost all government agencies through next September, would restore $90 million of the proposed reduction, reports Stars and Stripes. As a result, service members, their family members and veterans should not see a reduction in the discounts offered at the stores …

Defense Panels Request Update on Security Reviews

  • December 10, 2014
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The Defense Department will need to update the congressional defense committees on the actions it has taken following recent reviews of physical security standards at DOD facilities, under the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The reviews of security standards were conducted in response to the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in September 2013 and at Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009. The report is due April 30 and should include: a summary of the recommendations that came out of the recent security standards reviews; a description of the actions taken to address each recommendation …

BRAC Tops the Alternative, McHugh Says

  • December 10, 2014
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A new round of base closures would be the least painful way for the military to cope with the spending cuts forced by the 2011 Budget Control Act, Army Secretary John McHugh said during a ceremony this week at Fort Drum honoring the 10th Mountain Division. One alternative to BRAC that would generate savings for the Army would be to continue downsizing actions at installations across the country, as was the case earlier this year when the post experienced the loss of a brigade and about 1,500 soldiers …

Congressional Leaders Reach Deal on Compromise Spending Bill

  • December 9, 2014
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Congressional leaders Tuesday night unveiled a $1.1 trillion spending package that includes fiscal 2015 appropriations bills for all government agencies except for the Department of Homeland Security. The delayed release of the compromise legislation may force lawmakers to stay in Washington past Thursday, when the current continuing resolution (CR) expires, and require them to pass a CR for two or three days. The House is expected to take up the “CRomnibus” — a package of 11 individual spending bills and a CR lasting through Feb. 27 for Homeland Security — on Thursday, with the Senate most likely voting in the following days …

Authorization Bill Calls for Moderate Cut to Commissary Subsidy

  • December 9, 2014
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The compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill supports trimming the federal subsidy for military grocery stores by $100 million for one year, significantly scaling back the Pentagon’s cost-cutting proposal. The Defense Department asked for a $200 million cut in the annual direct subsidy for commissaries in FY 2015 as part of a plan to reduce the government’s annual subsidy for commissaries from $1.4 billion to $400 million over three years. Fully imposing the proposal would slash the average savings on groceries from 30 percent to 10 percent …

Funding for Past BRAC Rounds Drops under Omnibus

  • December 9, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 compromise spending bill released Tuesday would provide $315 million to clean up installations closed in past BRAC rounds, a $45 million increase over DOD’s budget request but a $137 million decline from the FY 2014 allocation. The boost over the administration’s request is intended to expedite cleanup at closed Navy bases, according to the House Appropriations Committee. Overall the military construction and veteran affairs portion of the omnibus spending bill would provide $6.6 billion for military construction and family housing programs next year, a figure which approximately matches the administration’s request but represents a $3.25 billion decline from last year’s level. The steep drop in milcon funding reflects DOD’s decision to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness. For family housing, the bill provides $1.2 billion in FY 2015, which matches DOD’s request but falls $325 million below the enacted FY 2014 level.

Spending Bill Negotiations Held Up

  • December 8, 2014
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House and Senate negotiators were expected to miss their Monday night deadline for wrapping up talks over the fiscal 2015 omnibus spending bill, potentially upsetting the delicate schedule that would allow Congress to avert a federal shutdown. Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said Monday evening that she and House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) had reached agreement on their parts of the “CRomnibus,” and that congressional leaders were hashing out issues unrelated to spending. The CRomnibus includes 11 individual spending bills and a continuing resolution (CR) for the Department of Homeland Security …

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