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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Pentagon Adequately Planned for Sequestration, Spokesman Says

  • November 12, 2013
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In the prolonged run-up to the imposition of sequestration earlier this year, defense officials followed the best course of action in coping with the looming automatic cuts to its fiscal 2013 budget, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters Tuesday during his last briefing before stepping down. “I think we’ve overall done precisely the right thing. We have talked about the prospective impacts of sequestration. We were very clear about that,” Little said. “And we’ve been clear since sequestration took effect about what’s happened,” he stated …

No Progress to Date as Budget Conferees Approach Second Public Meeting

  • November 12, 2013
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Members of the House-Senate budget conference on Wednesday will hear a nonpartisan description of different options for dealing with the nation’s fiscal woes from Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf, but there is no reason to believe his testimony will help bridge differences between the committee’s Republicans and Democrats. CBO also will release today a lengthy list of options for reducing the deficit, reported CQ. Wednesday’s meeting, the budget conference’s second formal get-together, comes just 30 days ahead of its Dec. 13 deadline for hashing out a compromise budget plan for fiscal 2014 …

Sequestration Relief Would First Go to Readiness, Comptroller Says

  • November 11, 2013
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The Pentagon would readily accept any reduction in the $50 billion hit its fiscal 2014 budget is slated to take under sequester cuts going into effect in January, with the first dollars helping to offset cutbacks in training and readiness, said Comptroller Robert Hale. “We are in our own minds — and to some extent on paper — starting to create, if you will, buyback lists,” Hale told Politico. “Readiness would be high … I think that is the first thing we would try to buy back with $10 billion …

Installation Officials Focused FY’13 Budget Cuts on Facilities Sustainment, GAO Finds

  • November 10, 2013
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Facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization (FSRM) accounts took the brunt of cuts imposed last year on base operating support as a result of sequestration, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Cutbacks in those accounts included projects involving repairs and renovations of existing facilities and demolition of excess facilities. Individual installation commanders across DOD retained considerable flexibility in how to trim base support services …

With No Budget, DOD Putting the Brakes on Spending

  • November 7, 2013
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The Pentagon’s acquisitions chief said Thursday he is postponing decisions on some programs until Congress provides greater clarity for the short-term outlook of the defense budget. At the same time, Frank Kendall, DOD’s undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said he is trimming the rate of spending, in anticipation of another round of across-the-board sequester cuts hitting the department in January …

Frustration over Impact of Defense Cuts Sets in for Senate Panel

  • November 7, 2013
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The latest hearing on the impact of sequestration featuring the military’s top officers left Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Armed Services Committee discouraged that their colleagues have failed to avert the deep spending cuts and, in many cases, embarrassed. “I feel ashamed to have you come back here again and again and again to tell us the same thing, and not see us doing anything about it,” Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Thursday …

Senate to Take up Defense Policy Bill in November, Inhofe Says

  • November 6, 2013
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The Senate will debate the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill the week of Nov. 18, according to the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee. “We’ve been talking about it. There’s been some talk about the 18th is when it would start,” James Inhofe (R-Okla.) told Defense News this week on his first full day back on Capitol Hill after undergoing a heart procedure in Oklahoma last month. Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), however, said he couldn’t confirm when the annual policy bill will go to the chamber floor …

Republican Senators Look to Provide DOD Flexibility to Manage Automatic Cuts

  • November 6, 2013
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Despite the GOP’s embrace of sequestration, a number of Republican senators want to provide the Pentagon flexibility to allocate the deep spending cuts if the House-Senate budget conference fails to reach a deal to replace them. The group includes lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee as well as some who are not. “There is going to be an effort to give the Pentagon some discretion,” Pat Roberts (Kan.) told Stars and Stripes. “It’s not so much the amount [of the cuts], but the discretion …

Welsh Urges Congressional Authority to Eliminate Excess Bases

  • November 5, 2013
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Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welsh wants Congress to authorize a new base closure round and allow the service to slash its end strength, two tools that would best help officials mitigate the impact of $500 billion in further defense cuts. “We need help in planning for the future,” Welsh the Colorado Springs Gazette. “Those two things make up 55 percent of our overall budget …

Strategic Choices Point to Reduced Need for ‘Garrison Force,’ Hagel Says

  • November 5, 2013
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Deep cuts in military end strength are one likely outcome of budget and strategic planning efforts now under way at the Pentagon, as significant changes are expected across every aspect of the department, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday during a speech delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The overriding question Hagel broached four months ago when he introduced the results of the Strategic Choices and Management Review — whether the nation will keep a heavy active-duty military with aging equipment and technology, or reduce the number of forces while retaining a focus on modernization — seemingly has been answered …

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