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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Skepticism Remains over Prospect for Deal Reversing Defense Cuts

  • October 17, 2013
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A number of Republican lawmakers would like to see deep spending cuts scheduled to hit DOD’s budget through fiscal 2021 eliminated or, at least, peeled back, but the prospects for the conference committee charged with hashing out an FY 2014 budget to reach an agreement to replace the sequester cuts with alternate savings still are highly uncertain. Republican lawmakers — including Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Bob Corker (Tenn.) — trying to preserve defense spending point to changes in entitlement programs as the best formula to find the necessary savings …

Budget Conference Charged with Setting FY’14 Spending Level

  • October 16, 2013
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The deal to reopen the federal government approved by Congress Wednesday night still leaves unanswered questions regarding the topline for fiscal 2014 spending and whether Congress will pass individual spending bills or resort to another continuing resolution. The first order of business for the conference committee established under the deal ending the budget standoff will be setting the level of FY 2014 discretionary spending and allocations for individual spending bills that may or may not be enacted after the committee’s report is due Dec. 13 …

House, Senate Clear Measure Ending Government Shutdown, Extending Debt Ceiling

  • October 16, 2013
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The federal government is set to reopen today after both chambers of Congress Wednesday night approved a bipartisan deal crafted in the Senate, ending a weeks-long standoff triggered by the House’s decision to link approval of a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution to changes intended to unravel President Obama’s signature health care law. The Senate first passed the measure by an 81-18 margin, with the House later approving it by a 285-144 margin before sending it to the White House. President Obama has said he would sign the bill …

DOD Needs to Look Beyond BRAC for Savings

  • October 15, 2013
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Efforts to trim spending on the Pentagon’s infrastructure should not be limited to bases in the United States, but should cover DOD’s foreign facilities as well, according to a commentary published in Reuters. Despite downsizing in recent decades, the department still uses a large number of facilities in places such as Germany and South Korea, write Kay Bailey Hutchison, who served as a Republican senator from Texas from 1993 to 2013, and Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution …

Hitting Debt Ceiling Could Slow Defense Contractor Payments

  • October 15, 2013
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Congress’ failure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling could result in a variety of impacts, including a delay in payments to service members, defense contractors and veterans. “For the defense industry itself, I think it would be a more extreme version of, first the sequester and then the government shutdown,” said Shai Akabas, a senior policy analyst with the Bipartisan Policy Center …

Senate Leaders Move Closer to Fiscal Deal

  • October 15, 2013
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved closer Tuesday to a deal to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling, with a final plan possibly ready to be unveiled today. The chamber’s leaders had suspended talks for much of the day after Senate Republicans embraced a relatively similar proposal under consideration in the House. Republican leaders in that chamber, however, failed to gain support from their conference and the plan fell apart …

Frelinghuysen in Line to Replace Young on Defense Panel

  • October 14, 2013
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New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) appears to be the most likely successor to Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R) as head of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee after the 22-term Florida congressman retires at the end of 2014. Young is the last of a number of long-serving defense appropriators who have left Congress either through retirement or death, including Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), and Reps. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and Norm Dicks (D-Wash) …

Guard’s Military Technicians Earned Reprieve from Shutdown Furloughs

  • October 14, 2013
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Nearly all of the 40,000 dual-status military technicians employed by the National Guard returned to work last week after initially being furloughed, but the Guard and Reserves still are affected by the partial government shutdown. Monthly drills, unless they are needed to prepare for an overseas deployment, and the paychecks they earn have been cancelled, affecting nearly 400,000 Guard members, said Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, vice chief of the National Guard Bureau …

Momentum Builds toward Budget Deal in Senate

  • October 14, 2013
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Senate leaders expressed optimism Monday that a deal to reopen the government and extend the nation’s debt ceiling could be reached in the coming days, a quick change of events from the tone just one day earlier. Under the compromise plan leaders outlined, the Senate would pass a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open through Jan. 15 and legislation to extend the debt ceiling to early or mid-February. While Senate leaders indicated the framework for a bipartisan agreement had been worked out, many details remained in doubt …

Ash Carter, Pentagon’s No. 2 Official, to Step Down

  • October 10, 2013
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Ash Carter, who has served as deputy defense secretary for the past two years, will step down Dec. 4, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Thursday. Before becoming the Pentagon’s number No. 2, Carter was undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, giving him four and a half years of continuous service at the department …

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