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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Lawmakers Encouraged about Prospect of Moving Legislation to Shed Federal Properties

  • December 8, 2013
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A bipartisan push may be under way to enact legislation motivating the federal government to thin its portfolio of an estimated 14,000 unneeded properties. Multiple efforts since the beginning of 2011 to reform the process for federal property disposal have not advanced, but following a Capitol Hill roundtable last week featuring real estate experts and former federal officials, two lawmakers are eager to try again …

Defense Hawks Press Their Case with Ryan

  • December 8, 2013
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Republican lawmakers hoping to reverse defense cuts under sequestration appear to support a prospective budget deal being negotiated by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash). That plan would raise discretionary spending from $967 billion — as mandated for FY 2014 under the Budget Control Act — to $1.001 trillion and turn off much of the increase in sequester cuts the Pentagon’s budget would be forced to accommodate this year …

House Pins Hopes on Passing Informal Conference Report for Defense Bill

  • December 5, 2013
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The best hope for Congress to approve a defense authorization bill for the 52nd straight year is for the House and Senate to take up an informal conference report that top leaders of the Armed Services committees are crafting, Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House panel, said Thursday. With the Senate returning to Capitol Hill at the beginning of next week and the House planning to adjourn Dec. 13, there isn’t enough time for the bill to go through regular order, Smith said …

Ryan, Murray Continue Budget Talks

  • December 5, 2013
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House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) plan to continue talks over the weekend in hopes of forging a budget agreement in time for House lawmakers to vote on it next week. The lead negotiators of the House-Senate budget conference would need to reach a compromise by Dec. 10 so that the House could take it up before adjourning for the year on Dec. 13. The two budget chairs are trying to set topline spending levels for fiscal 2014 and 2015 …

More Difficult Decisions Still Remain, Hagel Says

  • December 4, 2013
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Defense officials still face a number of challenging budget decisions on force structure, compensation and acquisition, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday after unveiling a series of organizational reforms intended to streamline DOD headquarters. “These reductions are only a first step in DOD’s efforts to realign defense spending to meet new fiscal realities and strategic priorities,” Hagel told reporters …

Negotiators Near Compromise over FY’14 Spending

  • December 4, 2013
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The lead negotiators of the House-Senate budget conference are close to an agreement that would raise topline spending for fiscal 2014 and possibly wipe out much of the increase in automatic spending cuts the Pentagon’s budget is scheduled to absorb this year due to sequestration. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are trying to strike a final deal in time for lawmakers to take it up next week. If they are successful, the House could vote on the plan next Wednesday …

Pentagon Austerity Measures to Eliminate Top Installations Post

  • December 4, 2013
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The deputy undersecretary of defense (DUSD) for installations and environment will be merged with the assistant secretary for operational energy plans and programs, as part of an array of personnel and funding reductions Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Wednesday to streamline the department’s overhead. The decision to eliminate DOD’s top installations post came amid a series of organizational changes to the office of secretary of defense (OSD) unveiled by Hagel at a Pentagon press briefing …

Installations Need to Consider Consequences of Climate Change

  • December 3, 2013
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Climate change is expected to affect military missions in multiple ways as it influences DOD’s operating environment, shapes geopolitical dynamics across the globe, and accelerates instability or conflict. It also will force the Pentagon to plan for significant impacts to its installations from rising sea levels, storm surges and storm intensity, as well as drought and thawing permafrost. “There’s a lot of stuff out there that is all going to be impacted by changes in the climate,” said John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment …

Former DOD Official Named as Interim Replacement for Carter

  • December 3, 2013
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Christine Fox, who had served as the Pentagon’s director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation until June, will become the department’s second-in-command starting Thursday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced yesterday. Fox replaces Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who is scheduled to step down today. Fox’s appointment by President Obama to serve as acting deputy secretary will make her the highest-ranking woman ever in DOD …

Armed Services Leaders Work toward Compromise Defense Measure

  • December 3, 2013
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To provide a fallback option in case the Senate does not quickly pass a fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill when it returns next week to Capitol Hill, the top leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees met behind closed doors Monday to hash out their own version of a conference report that could be easily cleared by the two chambers before the end of the year. The participants — House Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), House ranking member Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Senate Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Senate ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) — said very little following the meeting …

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