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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

House Briefing Intended to Explain Threat Posed by Spending Cuts

  • November 14, 2013
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Twenty-eight House members attended a closed briefing from Pentagon officials on Thursday about the deleterious effects of sequester cuts on national defense. The leadership of the House Armed Services Committee sponsored the briefing, which focused on how sequestration is harming military readiness. The panel wants to use the briefings to convince their colleagues to reverse sequestration, which is slated to cut defense spending by $500 billion through fiscal 2021 …

Air Force Officials Developing Plan to Address Deep Spending Cuts

  • November 13, 2013
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Top Air Force officials are putting together a long-term plan for dealing with sequestration dubbed Air Force 2023, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told reporters Wednesday. The sequester plan lays out numerous scenarios in which fiscal decisions are driven by the spending cuts imposed under sequestration, reported the Hill. The second round of cuts is slated to go into effect in mid-January and would slash the fiscal 2014 defense budget by $52 billion …

Hill Staff Learn about LRA Challenges, Potential Legislative Solutions

  • November 13, 2013
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Two new pieces of legislation designed to aid the revitalization of closed military bases would help BRAC communities cope with a long-term decline in federal support for base redevelopment. At a Capitol Hill briefing Tuesday, hosted by the House Defense Communities Caucus, representatives from the offices of Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) discussed changes to two existing tools for fostering redevelopment — the New Markets Tax Credit and the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone program — to benefit closure communities …

Appropriators Fret over Budget Conference’s Lack of Urgency

  • November 13, 2013
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House and Senate appropriators are growing increasingly anxious that the House-Senate budget conference will not come to an agreement over a topline for fiscal 2014 discretionary spending early enough for them to complete work on a year-end spending package. Appropriations Committee Chairs Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) have called on the conference committee to settle on a spending figure by Dec. 2 at the latest. That would allow appropriators sufficient time to hash out a 12-bill omnibus as part of a year-end budget deal …

Pentagon Adequately Planned for Sequestration, Spokesman Says

  • November 12, 2013
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In the prolonged run-up to the imposition of sequestration earlier this year, defense officials followed the best course of action in coping with the looming automatic cuts to its fiscal 2013 budget, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters Tuesday during his last briefing before stepping down. “I think we’ve overall done precisely the right thing. We have talked about the prospective impacts of sequestration. We were very clear about that,” Little said. “And we’ve been clear since sequestration took effect about what’s happened,” he stated …

No Progress to Date as Budget Conferees Approach Second Public Meeting

  • November 12, 2013
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Members of the House-Senate budget conference on Wednesday will hear a nonpartisan description of different options for dealing with the nation’s fiscal woes from Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf, but there is no reason to believe his testimony will help bridge differences between the committee’s Republicans and Democrats. CBO also will release today a lengthy list of options for reducing the deficit, reported CQ. Wednesday’s meeting, the budget conference’s second formal get-together, comes just 30 days ahead of its Dec. 13 deadline for hashing out a compromise budget plan for fiscal 2014 …

Sequestration Relief Would First Go to Readiness, Comptroller Says

  • November 11, 2013
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The Pentagon would readily accept any reduction in the $50 billion hit its fiscal 2014 budget is slated to take under sequester cuts going into effect in January, with the first dollars helping to offset cutbacks in training and readiness, said Comptroller Robert Hale. “We are in our own minds — and to some extent on paper — starting to create, if you will, buyback lists,” Hale told Politico. “Readiness would be high … I think that is the first thing we would try to buy back with $10 billion …

Installation Officials Focused FY’13 Budget Cuts on Facilities Sustainment, GAO Finds

  • November 10, 2013
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Facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization (FSRM) accounts took the brunt of cuts imposed last year on base operating support as a result of sequestration, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Cutbacks in those accounts included projects involving repairs and renovations of existing facilities and demolition of excess facilities. Individual installation commanders across DOD retained considerable flexibility in how to trim base support services …

With No Budget, DOD Putting the Brakes on Spending

  • November 7, 2013
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The Pentagon’s acquisitions chief said Thursday he is postponing decisions on some programs until Congress provides greater clarity for the short-term outlook of the defense budget. At the same time, Frank Kendall, DOD’s undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said he is trimming the rate of spending, in anticipation of another round of across-the-board sequester cuts hitting the department in January …

Frustration over Impact of Defense Cuts Sets in for Senate Panel

  • November 7, 2013
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The latest hearing on the impact of sequestration featuring the military’s top officers left Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Armed Services Committee discouraged that their colleagues have failed to avert the deep spending cuts and, in many cases, embarrassed. “I feel ashamed to have you come back here again and again and again to tell us the same thing, and not see us doing anything about it,” Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Thursday …

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