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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Hagel to Provide Early Preview of FY’15 Budget Request

  • February 17, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to preview the department’s fiscal 2015 budget request on Feb. 24, a week before the White House formally releases its spending proposal for next year, reported Reuters. Spending for defense-related programs in FY 2015 already has been set by last December’s budget deal at $521.3 billion, with DOD spending estimated at about $496 billion. The figure is virtually unchanged from the current year’s base budget. Still, the Pentagon faces many difficult choices as the spending cap is about $40 billion lower than the FY 2015 budget figure the department included in its long-term budget last year.

AUSA Head Denounces Legislation Calling for Army Commission

  • February 14, 2014
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A House bill that would form a commission to make recommendations about how the Army’s force structure should be allocated between the service’s active and reserve components is misguided, according to the head of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). “Such a commission is unnecessary, could damage Army readiness, and would impede the Army’s ability to implement spending reductions required by the 2011 Budget Control Act,” AUSA President Gordon Sullivan wrote in a Feb. 11 letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). H.R 3930, which already has 72 co-sponsors, would create a commission similar to the one that recently recommended shifting manpower from the Air Force’s active component into the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve …

Up(Capitol)hill Battle Remains for DOD to Secure New BRAC Authorization

  • February 13, 2014
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Little has changed in the battle between Congress and the Pentagon over whether lawmakers will authorize a new BRAC in the two years since the Obama administration first asked to hold additional rounds of base closure, with DOD still needing to overcome significant opposition in both chambers. If DOD wants lawmakers to approve a new round, the department will need to counter past arguments against it and, possibly, surmount an even higher hurdle — defend the momentum leading toward a much smaller military — according to discussions led by installation officials and Capitol Hill staff at this week’s 2014 Installation Innovation Forum …

Initial FY’15 Budget Release Will Include Details, OMB Says

  • February 12, 2014
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The release of the White House’s fiscal 2015 budget request will come in two parts, but most details will come out on the proposal’s scheduled release date of March 4, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said Wednesday. The main budget volume, key proposals, summary tables, agency-level information and the detailed appendix will come out in the first release. Historical tables and analytical perspectives will come out the next week. OMB said the staggered release should not affect the work of Congress …

DOD Official Questions Contractors’ Optimistic Sales Forecasts

  • February 10, 2014
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The Pentagon’s acting industrial base chief expressed skepticism last week about the number of defense contractors predicting that the worst impacts from sequestration soon will be over, with the automatic cuts starting to ease in fiscal 2016. “We’re not sure at DoD that we quite see the budget environment quite that way,” Elana Broitman, acting deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing and industrial base policy, said during her remarks at the Cowen Aerospace/Defense & Transportation Conference. “If we don’t do anything that changes sequestration after fiscal year ’15, then we’re stuck with flat, no-inflation budgets which don’t take account of the new initiatives, new requirements, that need to be funded …

Defense Spending to Gain Upper Hand over Deficit Reduction in Long-Term Budget

  • February 10, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 budget request for the Pentagon is expected to adhere to the budget caps revised in last December’s budget agreement, but at the same time the White House is encouraging DOD to include a $26 billion “wish list” of unfunded priorities in the proposal scheduled to be released next month. The department’s FY 2015 base budget will be about $496 billion. However, White House officials were surprised by many of the cuts DOD included in its draft budget proposal, especially the elimination of one of the Navy’s aircraft carriers …

Budget Cuts Require Balancing Act, Hagel Says; Work Nominated for Deputy Slot

  • February 9, 2014
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Short on specifics, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel emphasized the need to take “a holistic point of view” as Pentagon officials fine-tune the fiscal 2015 budget request. The key is to balance readiness, modernization and capability as planners look for places to trim about $41 million from the FY 2015 spending level the department envisioned one year ago, he told reporters Friday during a Pentagon press briefing. “Now, will there be cuts across the board? Of course there will. You can’t do it any other way. Are there going to be adjustments across the board? Of course …

DOD Reverses Proposal to Eliminate One Carrier

  • February 9, 2014
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A plan to shrink the Navy’s fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers from 11 to 10 has been nixed due to congressional opposition. DOD officials planned to call for the retirement of the USS George Washington in its fiscal 2015 budget proposal as a belt-tightening move, but reversed course after a bipartisan group of lawmakers criticized the move, reported Stars and Stripes. In a bid to avoid an election year battle, the White House said it would provide extra funds to extend the life of the George Washington …

Exercise Allows Think Tanks to Prepare Alternative Defense Budgets

  • February 5, 2014
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Four Washington think tanks offered their own takes on the Pentagon’s new long-term budget during an event Wednesday hosted by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). All four groups — CSBA, along with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the American Enterprise Institute — were forced to trim personnel and weapons systems under a budget scenario that followed the sequester caps imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act. All four focused significant cuts in end strength on the Army …

Personnel Cuts, Aircraft Retirements likely to Highlight Air Force Budget

  • February 5, 2014
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Major cuts in personnel and the wholesale retirement of several airframes are expected to highlight the Air Force’s fiscal 2015 budget request, scheduled to be released next month. “I see a trend, which I think the [Strategic Choices and Management Review] highlighted, toward sustaining a smaller force in the near term in order to resource needed modernization programs,” said Mark Gunzinger, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments …

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