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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

House Move to Pass New CR Likely to Meet Resistance

  • December 3, 2013
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The House may take up a new continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government running after Jan. 15, but opposition from Democrats, defense hawks and appropriators, over the measure’s austere spending level could imperil the strategy of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Boehner said Tuesday the chamber may act on the measure next week, after which the House is scheduled to adjourn until Jan. 7. Moving a stopgap bill next week would reduce the pressure on the House to act quickly when the new session begins next year …

Ryan, Murray Continue Talks in Quest for Budget Deal

  • December 2, 2013
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Negotiations between House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will continue this week as the leaders of the House-Senate budget conference try to reach agreement on a budget framework for the remainder of the fiscal year. Murray “remains hopeful that they can get a deal by the deadline,” her spokesman Eli Zupnick told CQ. The conference committee has a Dec. 13 deadline for striking a budget deal, although the current continuing resolution funding the federal government does not run out until Jan. 15 …

What is the Future of Base Services Like Commissaries?

  • December 2, 2013
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The 2014 Installation Innovation Forum will feature multiple sessions on innovative ways to deliver on-base services as budget pressures force DOD officials to come up with new ways to make their scarce dollars go further. The latest example is a recent request by top defense officials for a plan to close all domestic military grocery stores …

Further Cuts Will Harm Commissary Benefit, Agency CEO Says

  • November 25, 2013
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Military grocery stores struggled during fiscal 2013 to cope with cutbacks in funding triggered by sequestration, Joseph Jeu, director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency, told lawmakers last week. Civilian furloughs forced most commissaries to close one day a week for six weeks. A department-wide hiring freeze already had resulted in staffing at two-thirds of the commissaries falling below required levels. As a result, some customers waited in checkout lines for 20 to 30 minutes …

Armed Services Panels Still Aiming to Clear Authorization Bill This Year

  • November 25, 2013
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Staffs for the House and Senate Armed Services committees will work over the next two weeks toward a compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill to help expedite the process of clearing a conference report. After the Senate failed to make significant progress on the measure last week, the chamber is facing a severe time crunch to pass its version of the annual policy bill, S. 1197, before the end of the year …

Defense Bill Could Follow Several Paths to Enactment

  • November 24, 2013
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The House and Senate face a significant time crunch to clear a fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill before the year’s close following the Senate’s failure last week to reach a deal over how to handle amendments, but there are several strategies congressional leaders can adopt to expedite the measure. The simplest way would be for the Senate to strike a deal to expedite debate over the annual policy measure when it returns from its Thanksgiving recess on Dec. 9, either by agreeing to hold a limited number of votes on amendments or by ending debate and proceeding to a final vote …

Budget Negotiators Set Sights on Sequester Relief

  • November 24, 2013
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The lead negotiators for the House-Senate budget conference are continuing to attempt to reach an agreement that would set discretionary spending levels through fiscal 2015 and undo a portion of the sequester cuts over that period. The limited agreement would avoid hot-button issues such as tax increases and entitlement reforms, and instead would rely on user fee increases, federal asset sales and a mix of spending reductions to offset the sequester, reported CQ. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have discussed a number of scenarios, but so far have not struck a deal. The two plan to continue their talks through the Thanksgiving break …

Next BRAC Would Be Geared toward Efficiency, Not Transformation, DOD Official Says

  • November 21, 2013
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In a commentary published in Roll Call, Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, takes on what is probably the most popular criticism from lawmakers of the Obama administration’s request to hold a new round of base closures — that the last one cost too much. To make his case, Kendall points out that the 2005 round really was made up of two separate kinds of actions, each with distinct goals. The “Transformation BRAC” took advantage of the opportunity afforded by the base closure statute to move forces and functions to locations that made more sense operationally …

CR at FY’14 Sequester Levels is Backup Plan if No Budget Deal Emerges, Boehner Says

  • November 21, 2013
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The House would advance a continuing resolution (CR) at the fiscal 2014 level of sequestration if the House-Senate budget conference fails to reach agreement on a budget for the year, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday. Under that scenario, the House would move a stopgap spending bill for FY 2014 with a topline figure of $967 billion, reported CQ. The federal government now is operating under a CR at last year’s spending level, $986 billion …

Fate of Defense Bill in Doubt after Failed Senate Vote

  • November 21, 2013
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A Senate vote to wrap up debate on the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill failed Thursday due to opposition from Republican lawmakers, forcing the debate to wait until the chamber comes back in December and jeopardizing the chances for the legislation to be enacted before the end of the year. The procedural vote would have ended debate over the scores of amendments that had been offered to the annual defense policy measure. It failed 51-44, falling nine votes short of the 60 needed to advance, and left observers skeptical whether the chamber would have a better chance to reach agreement to expedite the measure when it returns from its Thanksgiving recess …

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