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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

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 …

House Briefing Intended to Explain Threat Posed by Spending Cuts

  • November 14, 2013
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Twenty-eight House members attended a closed briefing from Pentagon officials on Thursday about the deleterious effects of sequester cuts on national defense. The leadership of the House Armed Services Committee sponsored the briefing, which focused on how sequestration is harming military readiness. The panel wants to use the briefings to convince their colleagues to reverse sequestration, which is slated to cut defense spending by $500 billion through fiscal 2021 …

Air Force Officials Developing Plan to Address Deep Spending Cuts

  • November 13, 2013
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Top Air Force officials are putting together a long-term plan for dealing with sequestration dubbed Air Force 2023, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told reporters Wednesday. The sequester plan lays out numerous scenarios in which fiscal decisions are driven by the spending cuts imposed under sequestration, reported the Hill. The second round of cuts is slated to go into effect in mid-January and would slash the fiscal 2014 defense budget by $52 billion …

Hill Staff Learn about LRA Challenges, Potential Legislative Solutions

  • November 13, 2013
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Two new pieces of legislation designed to aid the revitalization of closed military bases would help BRAC communities cope with a long-term decline in federal support for base redevelopment. At a Capitol Hill briefing Tuesday, hosted by the House Defense Communities Caucus, representatives from the offices of Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) discussed changes to two existing tools for fostering redevelopment — the New Markets Tax Credit and the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone program — to benefit closure communities …

Appropriators Fret over Budget Conference’s Lack of Urgency

  • November 13, 2013
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House and Senate appropriators are growing increasingly anxious that the House-Senate budget conference will not come to an agreement over a topline for fiscal 2014 discretionary spending early enough for them to complete work on a year-end spending package. Appropriations Committee Chairs Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) have called on the conference committee to settle on a spending figure by Dec. 2 at the latest. That would allow appropriators sufficient time to hash out a 12-bill omnibus as part of a year-end budget deal …

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