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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Little Opportunity for Budget Conference to Reach Deal

  • November 19, 2013
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The House-Senate budget conference may not meet again until less than a week is left before its Dec. 13 deadline to come to agreement over a fiscal 2014 budget. That lack of public activity, along with reports of the slow pace of private talks between House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is chairing the committee, and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), have dampened hopes the panel will strike a deal over a topline spending figure and replace at least some of the scheduled sequester cuts …

Plan to Soften Sequester’s Impact Encounters Resistance from Fellow Republicans

  • November 19, 2013
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A plan promoted by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to lessen the impact sequestration is set to impose on the fiscal 2014 defense budget may not gain sufficient support from other Republicans or Democrats in the Senate. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said she would not support the amendment because it relies on cuts in defense spending in future years to offset the smaller sequester rather than reductions to entitlement programs …

Fiscal Challenges Facing Military Are Cumulative, Hagel Says

  • November 18, 2013
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The challenges facing the military, including sequestration, aging equipment and a force under stress from more than a decade of deployments, are cumulative and will become more apparent over time, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday. “But the effects [of curtailed training] will be felt for a long period of time to come …

White House Highlights Shortcomings of Authorization Bill

  • November 18, 2013
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The White House on Monday said it would not veto the Senate’s version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, but listed a number of provisions, including language precluding a new BRAC round, it has “serious concerns” with. The “Statement of Administration Policy” from the Office of Management and Budget said the administration “strongly objects” to language in S. 1197 requiring a formal review of the military’s overseas infrastructure before Congress would authorize a future base closure round …

Senators Craft Plan to Soften Impact of Defense Cuts

  • November 18, 2013
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Three senior GOP senators are working on an amendment to the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill that would smooth out the $52 billion cut the Pentagon’s current year budget is scheduled to absorb under sequestration. The amendment, which would be introduced by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), is expected to call for the defense budget to take only a $26 billion hit in FY 2014, with the rest of this year’s sequester applied over the next seven fiscal years, reported CQ. If successful, the amendment would allow DOD to avoid a deep trough in its budget this year but, at the same time, limit the growth of spending to only 1 percent annually through FY 2021 …

Air Shows to Resume This Year, but Many Other Outreach Events Will Not

  • November 18, 2013
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Air shows featuring the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds are returning in the current fiscal year, but the military will not be participating in more than 1,000 other community events compared to FY 2012. The Pentagon opted to restore $129 million in FY 2014 for community activities such as air shows, Navy port visits and performances by military bands, but the reduced funding level compared to two years ago means the services can attend only 1,000 to 1,500 events, down from 2,800 in FY 2012 …

Van Hollen Blames Republicans for Lack of Progress on Budget Talks

  • November 17, 2013
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Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) accused Republicans of slowing progress toward a deal in the House-Senate budget conference and said the panel was not close to reaching its interim goal of hashing out a general framework for an agreement. “I worry that the House Republicans are running out the clock, and I think we’re going to begin to highlight the fact that they seem to be sitting on their hands,” Van Hollen, ranking member on the House Budget Committee, said Friday …

McKeon Insists Budget Deal Must Relax Defense Cuts

  • November 17, 2013
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Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, told Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday that he would not support a fiscal 2014 budget agreement that does not provide some relief from the $52 billion in defense cuts imposed under sequestration. Ryan is chairing the House-Senate budget conference charged with setting a FY 2014 topline spending level and, possibly, replacing some of the sequester cuts …

Senate Likely to Turn to Authorization Bill Next Week

  • November 14, 2013
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday filed a motion to end debate on proceeding to the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, setting up a vote that likely would allow the chamber to begin debating the annual policy bill next week. It’s still not clear when the floor debate could begin, so prospects for the Senate to finish work on the legislation before lawmakers take off at the end of next week for Thanksgiving recess is uncertain, reported CQ. Reid has said he would like to finish action on the measure before the holiday …

DOD Spending Should Be Dispersed, Frelinghuysen Says

  • November 14, 2013
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New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R), who this week was named the new chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said maintaining regional balance in defense spending is critical. “I think it is important that every state and every region of the country contribute to a strong national defense,” Frelinghuysen told the Hill. “I don’t think that everything has to be concentrated in the South …

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