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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

FY’16 Appropriations Expected to Follow More Torturous Path

  • December 16, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 omnibus spending package cleared by Congress this past week experienced its share of twists and turns as elements of both parties attempted to remove objectionable provisions, but on the whole its passage represented a mostly bipartisan process that likely won’t be duplicated in the 114th Congress. Negotiations over the “CRomnibus” did not focus on spending allocations because that issue already had been settled last year as part of the budget deal between Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that relaxed the defense and non-defense spending caps for FY 2014 and 2015 …

Republicans to Add Five Freshman Senators to Armed Services Panel

  • December 16, 2014
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Five newly elected Republican senators will join the Senate Armed Services Committee in the 114th Congress as the GOP gains extra seats and several members leave the panel. Meanwhile, Jack Reed (R.I.) will become the committee’s ranking member, Senate Democrats announced Friday. The GOP freshmen being added include: Tom Cotton (Ark.); Joni Ernst (Iowa); Mike Rounds (S.D.); Dan Sullivan (Alaska) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) …

Ohio Guard Wing Earns Reprieve in Defense Bill

  • December 16, 2014
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Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base, Ohio, received good news in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill as the result of language allowing the Air Force to fund avionics upgrades to the Air National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing. The wing’s eight C -130H Hercules transport aircraft need the enhanced communications gear — called Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast-Out (ADS-B) — to continue flying outside the U.S. mainland beyond 2020, reported the Mansfield News Journal. The provision allows the Air Force to tap alternative programs and funding to modernize the C-130H fleet but doesn’t require the service to go ahead …

FY’15 Omnibus Spending Bill Crosses the Finish Line

  • December 14, 2014
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Congress on Saturday night wrapped up work on fiscal 2015 appropriations for all agencies except for the Department of Homeland Security, after the Senate cleared the $1.1 trillion “CRomnibus” spending package 56-40. President Obama has indicated he will sign the spending package — new funding blueprints for 11 of the 12 annual appropriations titles through Sept. 30, 2015, and a continuing resolution (CR) for Homeland Security through Feb. 27 — by Wednesday when the current stopgap runs out …

Senate Sends Defense Bill to President

  • December 14, 2014
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The Senate approved the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill Friday and sent it to the president’s desk, marking the 53rd straight year Congress has approved the annual defense policy bill. The measure, which allocates $496 billion for DOD’s base budget and $64 billion for overseas contingency operations, rejects or scales back many of the Pentagon’s major cost-saving reforms affecting military compensation and force structure. The bill, H.R. 3979, makes only a moderate concession to the Air Force proposal to retire its fleet of 283 A-10 close air support aircraft …

‘CRomnibus’ Clears House in Close Vote

  • December 11, 2014
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After almost collapsing due to Democratic opposition, the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill passed the House Thursday night 219-206, averting what likely would have meant Congress passing a short-term continuing resolution (CR) allowing Republicans to have the last word on fiscal 2015 appropriations early next year. The House also passed a two-day CR to give the Senate time to debate the spending package, as the existing stopgap was set to run out at midnight Thursday. The Senate was expected to pass the two-day CR before midnight to avoid a government shutdown. The chamber planned to take up the year-long spending bill beginning on Friday …

Deed Signing Marks First Transfer at Walter Reed

  • December 11, 2014
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Officials from the District of Columbia and the Army held a ceremonial signing Wednesday of a deed transferring a building at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, marking the first transfer of land at the hospital campus to the city. After demolishing the building, the District plans to construct a $12 million fire station. “My administration has worked closely with the Army to acquire Walter Reed so that we can begin transforming this historic campus into a vibrant destination that meets the needs and desires of the neighboring community …

Authorization Bill on Track to Pass Senate Friday

  • December 11, 2014
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The Senate most likely will clear the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill sometime Friday before sending it to President Obama’s desk for his signature. On Thursday, the chamber voted to limit debate on the annual policy measure, H.R. 3979, triggering 30 hours of debate prior to a final vote. The debate could be cut short through an agreement to expedite the final vote, but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has vowed to object to such requests, reported CQ. Coburn pledged to block the legislation over the inclusion of almost 100 public lands provisions — including conveyances, expansions of the National Park system and changes in how public lands are managed — in the authorization bill, but his options are limited, beyond slowing the process …

Wittman Remains at Helm of House Readiness Panel

  • December 11, 2014
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Three of the seven panels that make up the House Armed Services Committee will pass the gavel to new chairmen in the 114th Congress, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman-elect of the committee, announced Thursday. Keeping his post, however, as chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, which oversees installations and BRAC policy, will be Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.). Wittman, who was first elected to Congress in December 2007, took over the subcommittee at the beginning of the 113th Congress …

House Expected to Approve FY’15 Spending Package

  • December 10, 2014
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Despite opposition from both conservatives and liberals, the House appears poised to pass the $1.1 trillion spending package on Thursday that would fund all government agencies except for the Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of fiscal 2015. House leaders will be relying on a significant number of Democratic votes as at least 50 Republicans are expected to oppose the “CRomnibus” because it fails to block President Obama’s executive actions to shield up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation …

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