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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Appropriators Start to Resolve Differences over Competing Versions of Spending Bills

  • December 16, 2013
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Appropriators from both chambers have started meeting to hash out compromise fiscal 2014 spending bills in anticipation that last week’s budget deal is enacted. Appropriators plan to work out individual spending plans for most, but not all, of the 12 measures and package them into an omnibus bill. Spending bills with the broadest support — including defense, military construction-veterans affairs and homeland security — almost definitely would be included in the omnibus individually …

Defense Bill Drops Language Requiring Consideration of Community Support before Realigning Bases

  • December 16, 2013
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Language requiring the Pentagon to consider the monetary value of services provided to an installation by its host community before making realignment or closure decisions was stripped from the compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill passed last week by the House. The amendment would have required the secretary of defense to account for “the value of services, such as schools, libraries, and utilities, as well as land, structures, and access to infrastructure, such as airports and seaports, that are provided by the local community to the military installation and that result in cost savings for the Armed Forces” when considering realignment decisions outside of the BRAC process …

Senate to Take up Budget Agreement, Defense Bill This Week

  • December 16, 2013
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Despite public opposition from Republican lawmakers, the Senate this week is expected to approve key agreements unveiled over the past seven days — a budget agreement setting topline spending for fiscal 2014 and 2015, and a compromise version of this year’s defense authorization bill. The chamber likely would hold a vote to limit debate on the budget deal Tuesday, with final action expected by Wednesday. Many GOP senators oppose the deal for suspending a portion of the spending caps imposed under sequestration, but the overwhelming 332-94 vote last week in the Republican-controlled House to pass the budget framework will make it difficult for Senate Republicans to block the legislation …

Senate Caucus Highlights Veterans Issues, Community Partnering for Congressional Staff

  • December 15, 2013
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Lawmakers, DOD officials and local leaders addressed some of the most pressing issues for active-base communities at the first-ever Senate Defense Communities Caucus-hosted briefing last week, including military-community partnering, economic development and veterans’ quality of life. “Communities being responsive and welcoming to transitioning veterans, and thinking outside of the box to find solutions when working with the military are important in this time of tighter budgets,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) …

BRAC Prohibition in Compromise Measure Short, To the Point

  • December 12, 2013
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The House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill adopted varying approaches to rejecting the Obama administration’s request for a BRAC round in 2015, and the compromise version of the legislation unveiled this week finds one more way to bar additional base closures. “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize an additional Base Realignment and Closure round,” reads the language in the bill …

Hagel Praises Sequester Relief included in Budget Deal

  • December 12, 2013
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday applauded this week’s budget agreement for restoring much-needed funds to military readiness accounts and supporting planning efforts over the next two years. “While this agreement doesn’t solve every budget problem facing DOD, it will help address our military readiness challenge by restoring funding for training and procurement — especially in fiscal year 2014,” Hagel said …

Authorization Bill Likely to Advance in Senate, Inhofe Says

  • December 12, 2013
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Despite a groundswell of resistance among Senate Republicans to supporting the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, there is sufficient backing in the party’s caucus to clear the compromise measure crafted by committee leaders, James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday. Opposition to the legislation in the Senate stems from the dispute over how many amendments Republicans would be allowed to bring up when the bill came to the floor prior to Thanksgiving. Party leaders could not reach an agreement, prompting Armed Services committee leaders from both chambers to hash out a “pre-conferenced” measure over the past several weeks …

GAO to Look at Potential for Military Bases to Host Other Agencies, under Defense Bill

  • December 11, 2013
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The House and Senate Armed Services committees are interested in whether relocating non-defense agencies to military installations would save the federal government money and enhance security, according to language in the compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill released earlier this week. The bill would require the Government Accountability Office to conduct a feasibility study …

Budget Deal Imposes Reality on Defense Appropriators

  • December 11, 2013
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Tuesday’s budget deal would greatly benefit defense programs by erasing $20 billion in additional sequester cuts scheduled to go into effect next month, but it also means House and Senate appropriators will need to adhere to the adjusted spending caps for DOD included in the agreement. The fiscal 2014 defense spending bills drafted in the House and Senate, as well as the Pentagon’s budget request, all ignored the likelihood that sequestration would be triggered for a second straight year and called for funding that exceeded the Budget Control Act spending caps by about $50 billion …

Reported Savings from Federal Real Estate Initiatives Inconsistent, GAO Finds

  • December 11, 2013
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Federal agencies did not consistently report cost savings from real estate initiatives taken in response to a June 2010 presidential memorandum intended to spur the disposal of excess property, improvements in energy efficiency and other space consolidation efforts, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last week. Space management initiatives — including consolidating or eliminating leases that were not cost effective — accounted for the largest portion of the $3.8 billion in savings agencies reported through fiscal 2012 …

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