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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

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 …

Opposition from Senate Republicans Could Stall Defense Bill

  • December 11, 2013
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A number of Senate Republicans have indicated they might not support the compromise version of the defense authorization bill unveiled by House and Senate Armed Services committee leaders Monday, raising doubt as to whether Congress can clear the legislation before the end of the year. The lawmakers’ opposition stems from last month’s dispute between the two parties as to how many amendments would receive votes when the annual policy bill went to the Senate floor. The two sides failed to come to an agreement, stalling debate on the bill prior to Thanksgiving and forcing the committee leaders to work out a “pre-conferenced” bill behind closed doors …

For Pentagon, Budget Deal Would Avoid Worsening Automatic Spending Cuts

  • December 11, 2013
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Defense officials would not need to find additional budget savings in fiscal 2014 and 2015 under the budget deal reached Tuesday, but they still would need to contend with sequester cuts in line with those imposed last year. On the one hand, the Defense Department would earn a reprieve from $22 billion in automatic cuts in the current year, erasing a $20 billion increase in the sequester scheduled to hit in January. But officials still would need to identify about $32 billion in savings from its FY 2014 budget request, however, as its $552 billion proposal was $54 billion above the spending cap …

Ryan, Murray Complete Deal with Partial Reprieve of Sequester Cuts

  • December 10, 2013
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After two months of mostly quiet negotiations, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced a deal Tuesday that sets topline discretionary spending for the next two years and averts a total of $63 billion in sequester cuts over that period. In fiscal 2014, $45 billion in sequester cuts would be restored, bringing total discretionary spending to $1.012 trillion. That topline figure represents a $24 billion increase over the FY 2013 spending level of $988 billion …

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