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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

If Congress Delivers Funds, DOD Will Budget for Higher Force Levels, Comptroller Says

  • March 16, 2014
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Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale pledged to eliminate the confusion over what force structure levels could be sustained under its five-year spending plan, provided lawmakers indicate they will provide the department much-needed relief from mandated spending caps. Hale’s statement came in response to a defense analyst’s criticism that the future years defense plan (FYDP) DOD released earlier this month failed to include the preferred force levels Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel indicated it would …

House Panel Hopes to Bolster Pentagon’s Milcon Request

  • March 16, 2014
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Lawmakers, surprised by the deep cut in military construction and family housing proposed by the Pentagon in its fiscal 2015 budget request, offered DOD some hope for relief during last week’s hearing by the House Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. “I haven’t seen requests this low for a long, long time,” said Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), the panel’s ranking member. The $6.6 billion request for milcon and family housing represents a 40 percent drop from current year funding …

Farr Presses DOD on BRAC Cleanup Funds

  • March 14, 2014
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Troubled by a steep drop in the budget to clean up installations closed during previous BRAC rounds, California Rep. Sam Farr (D) asked defense installation officials at a House hearing Wednesday to explain why the department’s unobligated balance for BRAC cleanup funds was so high. Farr said he had learned that the department had about $900 million in unobligated funds for BRAC cleanup. He was equally concerned about the fiscal 2015 budget request for $270 million for the account, which would represent a 40 percent drop in funding from this year’s allocation and a 64 percent decline from FY 2013′s allocation …

Water Seeks Higher Level among Pentagon Priorities

  • March 12, 2014
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Defense officials have begun to take a closer look at the shrinking availability of water supplies across installations and the resulting impact on readiness, with their latest efforts focused on determining which bases can be expected to face a shortage in the coming decades. As the basis of its planning effort, the Pentagon is directing installations to calculate how much water they have access to, how much they use and how much they absolutely need …

Need for BRAC is Clear, Installation Officials Tell Lawmakers

  • March 12, 2014
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A new round of base closures is needed to avoid wasting money on unneeded facilities, John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, told the House Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Wednesday. Equally important, granting DOD the authority to realign and shutter installations also would free up defense funds for other urgent priorities, including readiness and modernization, Conger told lawmakers. The services’ installation chiefs who testified along with Conger all emphasized that they have excess capacity, a disparity that is particularly acute for the Army and Air Force …

Inhofe Demands Clear Spending Plan from Pentagon

  • March 12, 2014
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After defense officials presented conflicting accounts over the past two weeks of what force structure levels are included in their five-year spending plan, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wants DOD to clear up the confusion right away. “Everyone knows it’s a dilemma,” Inhofe said. “They’re trying to do something to make the sequestration part of the budget less offensive …

DOD Plan Would Turn Commissaries into Business Enterprise

  • March 12, 2014
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The Pentagon’s proposal to drastically reduce federal subsidies for military groceries would force most stateside commissaries to operate as a for-profit enterprise, according to documents released last week in conjunction with DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request. The Pentagon is proposing to reduce the annual direct subsidy to commissaries by $1 billion over the next three years; the annual subsidy now totals $1.4 billion. After three years, the lower funding would reduce the average discount for military families from 30 percent to 10 percent, according to senior defense officials. At that point, stateside commissaries would need to cover their operating costs to remain viable, reported Stars and Stripes …

Lawmakers Unlikely to Adjust Sequester Cuts through FY’15

  • March 11, 2014
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With a difficult compromise on spending already achieved in December, Congress is unlikely to offer agencies additional relief from the existing spending caps until fiscal 2016. The bipartisan deal reached late last year reversed $63 billion in discretionary spending cuts across the government over FY 2014 and 2015, reducing the urgency to revisit the caps until the agreement expires on Sept. 30, 2015. At that point, though, serious discussions on a new deal to lift the spending caps could begin …

Officials Fight Proposal to Deactivate Airlift Unit at Ft. Bragg

  • March 11, 2014
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Local leaders and elected officials are trying to reverse the Air Force’s proposal to deactivate the 440th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field, saying the move would jeopardize the responsiveness of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and eliminate more than 1,000 jobs in the Fayetteville, N.C., area. The proposal came last week as part of the Air Force’s fiscal 2015 budget request, which calls for retiring the 440th’s 12 C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft. Without the 440th’s C-130s, Army paratroopers at Fort Bragg would be forced to rely on aircraft from South Carolina, Georgia or New York to train …

Last-Minute Change to DOD’s Spending Plan Complicated Budget Presentation

  • March 11, 2014
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Confounding explanations by top Pentagon officials last week over what force structure levels could be sustained by the department’s five-year spending plan were the direct result of a White House decision earlier this year to approve a budget that exceeded the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. Defense officials originally prepared budgets that complied with the spending caps for both its fiscal 2015 request and the future years defense plan (FYDP), the spending projection for the next five years. Sometime early this year — at a very late stage in in the budget process — the White House told DOD to plan for exceeding the spending caps from FY 2016-2019 by $115 billion …

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