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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Senate to Take up Milcon Spending Next Month

  • April 10, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to mark up the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill before the end of May, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said Thursday. Mikulski said the milcon measure “definitely will be the first” spending bill her committee marks up as the House and Senate Appropriations committees attempt to coordinate their schedules, reported CQ. But the schedules won’t be identical …

Appropriators Highlight Deficiencies at DOD Facilities

  • April 10, 2014
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The House Appropriations Committee cited a variety of shortcomings in DOD’s military construction program, including a lack of priority placed on projects that affect safety and health, and antiquated dining facilities at several joint bases, according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. “The committee believes that the Department of Defense should consider more than the mission requirements and training objectives of installations when prioritizing MILCON projects …

Battle over A-10 Heats up on Capitol Hill

  • April 10, 2014
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Republican lawmakers and local officials on Thursday pledged to save the A-10 attack aircraft from an Air Force proposal to retire the fleet in the face of strict spending caps originally mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act. The challenge for the lawmakers, led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), is finding an offset to make up for the $3.5 billion the Air Force intends to save by eliminating the aircraft that specializes in close air support, reported Defense News. “I am working this issue with my colleagues,” Ayotte told reporters …

Army Drawdown Would Require Large Cut in Brigades, Odierno Says

  • April 9, 2014
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If the full force of sequestration returns in fiscal 2016, the Army would be forced to eliminate up to 46 percent of its active-duty brigade combat teams, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Those cuts would be accompanied by a 22 percent reduction in brigade combat teams from the National Guard, Odierno told the panel. Those changes would result in the Army going from a mix of 51 percent active and 49 percent reserve component personnel, to a 46 percent active and 54 percent reserve-component split …

Cleanup of Legacy BRAC Sites Going Too Slowly, Lawmakers Say

  • April 9, 2014
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Prompted by concern over the pace of the cleanup of installations closed during the first four BRAC rounds, the House Appropriations Committee directs DOD to submit a plan to expedite and expand cleanup activities at legacy BRAC sites, according to report language accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The plan, which would be due 90 days after the spending bill is enacted, also should explain how the department “will fully utilize the funds previously appropriated …

House Panel Warns DOD against Closure Actions outside of BRAC

  • April 9, 2014
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The Defense Department should consult with lawmakers before attempting to carry out a closure or realignment outside of a BRAC round, the House Appropriations Committee directs the Pentagon in the report language accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The request was prompted by the committee’s concern that “the Department of Defense will authorize the closure of military installations under Title 10 U.S.C. 2687, without adequate congressional consultation,” the report states …

BRAC Is Only Way to Alleviate Excess Capacity, Hammack Tells Lawmakers

  • April 8, 2014
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The Army’s top installations official made the case for a new BRAC round during a Capitol Hill hearing last week, citing the service’s declining force structure and recent efforts to downsize its footprint in Europe. “The best and proven way to address excess and shortfalls in facility requirements in a cost-effective and fair manner is through the BRAC (base realignment and closure) Commission process,” said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment …

SASC Members Launch Effort to Reverse Spending Cuts

  • April 8, 2014
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Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee plan on holding informal discussions on ways to loosen the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps. Congress has provided partial relief to the automatic cuts in the first three years of sequestration, but starting in fiscal 2016 they are slated to be fully imposed, amounting to more than $50 billion in spending reductions annually. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said the committee is well-suited to tackle the issue because it’s bipartisan, broadly representative of both parties and more familiar with the impact of sequestration than other committees since DOD represents half of the spending cuts. Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) previously has talked about the effort. “I don’t know where it’s going. I just wanted to open up a discussion in the committee about what to do about sequester instead of just complaining about it,” King told the Hill on Tuesday.

Senators Consider House Plan to Study Army, Guard Changes

  • April 8, 2014
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Several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday signaled their support for a House bill that would create an independent commission to make recommendations about how the Army’s force structure should be allocated between the service’s active and reserve components. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), also would block the Army’s plan to transfer the National Guard’s 192 Apache attack helicopters to the active Army and replace them with 111 Black Hawk helicopters. The measure has the support of 41 Democrats and 111 Republicans …

HASC to Mark up Defense Policy Bill in Three Weeks

  • April 7, 2014
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The six subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee will mark up their portions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill from April 30 to May 1, with the full committee markup scheduled for May 7.
The readiness subcommittee, which is responsible for installation policy including BRAC, will mark up its portion on May 1. The committee will post draft bills for each subcommittee and the full committee on its website prior to the markups, which will be streamed live.

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