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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Continued Sequester Cuts Would Further Debilitate Readiness, Force Structure, Chiefs Testify

  • September 18, 2013
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Before a House Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday, the services’ top military officers delivered a grim assessment of their ability to meet the armed forces’ defense strategy if automatic spending cuts remain in place. “If Congress does not act to mitigate the magnitude and speed of the reductions under the [deficit reduction law] with sequestration, the Army will not be able to fully execute the requirements of the 2012 defense strategic guidance …

House Move to Defund Health Law Could Take CR to the Brink

  • September 18, 2013
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The decision by House leaders Wednesday to strip funding for the Affordable Care Act in a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) puts lawmakers on the path to a high-stakes showdown over a government shutdown Oct. 1. The proposal the House is scheduled to vote on Friday would fund the government through Dec. 15 at an annual spending level of $986.3 billion, slightly below the discretionary topline for the current year due to scorekeeping adjustments. But it also would block funding for President Obama’s signature legislative achievement as well as instruct the Treasury to prioritize debt payments if the nation’s debt ceiling is reached …

Installations Community Mourns Passing of DOD’s Nancy Natoli

  • September 17, 2013
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Nancy Natoli, who led the Pentagon’s effort to protect military test and training facilities from incompatible development, passed away Monday following a recent battle with cancer. Natoli has been the program director of the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program since February 2012, after serving as a program coordinator for the previous three years …

Hagel Calls for Security Review at Worldwide Installations

  • September 17, 2013
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday called for a review of physical security at all U.S. military bases, one day after a contract worker killed 12 people in a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard. Hagel said he would meet with service chiefs to define the scope of the worldwide review, which would focus on physical security rather than the granting of security clearances …

DOD Comptroller Not Entirely Pessimistic over Prospects for Sequestration Relief

  • September 17, 2013
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Pentagon Comptroller Bob Hale remains somewhat hopeful that Congress can reach a deal to restore at least a portion of the sequester cuts slated to hit DOD’s budget in fiscal 2014, but at the same time he’s making sure the department is prepared for a second straight year of automatic spending cuts. “Maybe some kind of mini-deal that is much scaled down but would restore at least some funding in the discretionary areas, including defense …

House Republicans May Force Issue over Defunding Health Care Law

  • September 17, 2013
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House leaders are considering moving a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) that withholds funding for the Affordable Care Act, a move that increases the likelihood of a government shutdown after Sept. 30. The adjustment in the Republicans’ strategy for funding the government in the new fiscal year follows widespread opposition last week by conservatives to a proposal that would have allowed the Senate to reject a separate resolution defunding the health care law but still send the stopgap spending bill to the president for his signature …

Virginia Lawmakers Urge Pentagon to Relocate AFRICOM to Hampton Roads

  • September 16, 2013
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Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Timothy Kaine last week asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to reconsider a January decision to keep U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report criticized the department’s decision. “Hampton Roads represents one of the largest concentrations of joint and service-unique military commands in the United States,” the two Democratic lawmakers wrote, reported the Virginian-Pilot. “The region offers joint installations, command-and-control resources, training and education facilities that could superbly support AFRICOM’s mission …

Winnefeld Chastises Congress for Blocking New BRAC Round

  • September 16, 2013
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Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld last week sharpened the Pentagon’s argument for a new BRAC round by pointing out that only a small part of the cost to implement the 2005 round went toward closing bases. “Were you aware that, contrary to the popular narrative, the closure part of the 2005 BRAC only cost us $6 billion and is now saving us almost $4 billion per year, and we need new closures desperately?” he said during an event hosted by the Association of the United States Army …

Pentagon Resigned to Operating with a Continuing Resolution

  • September 15, 2013
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Defense officials are preparing to enter the new fiscal year without a clear picture of how much funding Congress will provide them, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters Friday. “We’re working closely with the Office of Management and Budget to determine what our requirements might be going into [FY 2014],” Little said. Congressional leaders are trying to move a continuing resolution to keep the government running for the first several months of FY 2014, but have not yet settled on a strategy to do so …

Democrats Intend to Keep Fights over CR, Debt Ceiling Separate

  • September 15, 2013
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Senate Democrats think they can fend off an attempt by House Republicans to couple battles over avoiding a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year and extending the nation’s debt limit. Republican lawmakers in the House believe that combining the two disputes into one negotiation will maximize their leverage to extract concessions to reduce the federal deficit and, possibly, slow implementation of the Affordable Care Act …

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