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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

White House to Exceed Budget Caps in FY 2016 Request

  • October 15, 2014
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The Obama administration’s fiscal 2016 budget request will exceed the Budget Control Act spending caps at least for non-defense appropriations, Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Wednesday. In FY 2016 and beyond, Donovan said, “it’s absolutely critical on the non-defense side that we continue to make progress against sequestration, to relieve sequestration, to invest, whether it’s in infrastructure, in research and development, early childhood education, training …

Sequestration Jeopardizes Army’s Ability to Fulfill Its Role, Hagel Says

  • October 15, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel praised the Army for its contributions since 9/11, before urging Congress to undo spending reductions called for under the Budget Control Act to avoid devastating cuts to the service’s force structure. “As the Army emerges from over 13 years of large-scale combat operations — the longest in its history — it faces new challenges,” Hagel said. “The world’s becoming more volatile, less predictable, and, in many ways, more threatening at the same time our defense budgets are declining …

Climate Change Prompting DOD to Study Risks to Installations

  • October 15, 2014
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DOD is preparing for a range of impacts to its facilities as a result of climate change, according to its newly released Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. “Climate change will have serious implications for the department’s ability to maintain both its built and natural infrastructure, and to ensure military readiness in the future,” states the department’s strategic blueprint for tackling the issue. Potential impacts to military infrastructure include: increased inundation, erosion and flooding damage; changing demand for heating and cooling of buildings; disruption to the supply of reliable energy and fresh water …

Roadmap Calls for Pentagon to Consider Climate Change across All Planning Activities

  • October 14, 2014
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The Defense Department’s new strategic blueprint for addressing climate change calls for officials to consider the impacts of global warming as part of all policies, plans and programs, including stationing decisions such as future BRAC recommendations.
Encroachment management plans and programs, such as studies for the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program also will need to be reviewed, according to the Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. The report includes a list of documents, plans and systems that should be reviewed and updated to integrate the impacts of climate change …

Army’s Top Leaders Chide Congress for Budget Uncertainty

  • October 14, 2014
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The next eight to 12 months will be critical for the future of the military as Congress makes funding decisions that dictate the size of the force and how it is equipped, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Monday at the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army. Unless Congress steps in, the spending cap for fiscal 2016 will force the Army to slash its end strength far below the level called for in the FY 2015 budget, 450,000 soldiers, Secretary John McHugh said earlier in the day. “If sequestration returns in fiscal ’16 … Another round of indiscriminate cuts will gut the force to the point that we will be unable to meet the president’s defense strategic guidance …

Pentagon to Tackle Climate Change, Hagel Says

  • October 14, 2014
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Climate change is a national security threat and is prompting DOD to incorporate the issue into all facets of planning and operations, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday in Peru at the Conference of the Defense Ministers of the Americas. For military installations, one of the most immediate impacts of climate change will be sea-level rise. “Our coastal installations could be vulnerable to rising shorelines and flooding, and extreme weather could impair our training ranges, supply chains and critical equipment,” Hagel said. “Our militaries’ readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed …

Retirement of Longtime Appropriator Could Prompt House Milcon Chair to Shift Panels

  • October 13, 2014
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Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), chair of the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, is considered one of the two leading candidates to head up the panel that funds law enforcement, science and manufacturing programs following the retirement of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) at the end of the year. The other candidate, Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), would have seniority over Culberson. Republican appropriators, however, don’t always follow full-committee seniority in making leadership decisions …

President, House Democrats Highlight Dangers of Sequestration

  • October 8, 2014
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During a rare visit to the Pentagon, President Obama on Wednesday warned about the deleterious impacts of the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on national defense, underscoring the need “to make sure that Congress is working with us to avoid, for example, some of the draconian cuts that are called for in sequestration.” Obama added that lawmakers need to ensure the military has “the equipment and the technology that’s necessary for them to be able to succeed at their mission,” reported the Hill. “We have done some enormous work, and I want to thank everybody sitting around this table to continue to make our forces leaner, meaner, more effective, more tailored to the particular challenges that we’re going to face in the 21st century …

War Spending Account Solves DOD Budget Problems for Now

  • October 6, 2014
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The OCO account is exempt from the Budget Control Act caps on defense spending and with the estimated cost of operations in Iraq and Syria ranging from $2.4 billion to $18 billion annually, it’s the easiest solution to the Pentagon’s budget crunch, analysts say. “There is currently no limit on OCO, so there is as much room as they need,” Todd Harrison, a defense budget senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told Stars and Stripes. Relying on the OCO has the obvious benefit of avoiding the need to shoehorn the cost of the war into the department’s base budget …

Pivot to Asia Continues despite Budget Pressure, Official Says

  • October 1, 2014
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DOD’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region remains on course despite the budget bind facing the department, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Tuesday. “We might not be able to go as fast as we would want because of budgetary pressures. We might not be able to have as many forces as we would otherwise like because we wouldn’t be able to afford them,” Work told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But the Asia Pacific rebalance continues apace …

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