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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Congress, GSA Look to P3 to Tame Federal Real Estate Costs

  • July 24, 2013
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House lawmakers and federal officials believe public-private partnerships (P3s) are the key to helping the federal government dispose of excess properties as well as reduce its real estate costs. “The question is, can we provide that space in a more cost effective manner? P3s effectively used have the potential to help leverage private expertise in meeting those needs and developing and restoring agency properties,” said Rep. Lou Barletta …

Spending Bill Amendment Aimed at Underutilized Facilities

  • July 24, 2013
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Language adopted Tuesday by House lawmakers barring the Defense Department from spending money maintaining facilities it no longer uses is intended to eliminate wasteful spending, according to the office of Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy, who sponsored the amendment. The provision, approved during debate over the fiscal 2014 defense appropriations measure, is not targeted at installations closed through BRAC …

Lawmakers Vote to Stop Drawdown from Base in Azores

  • July 24, 2013
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Add a planned drawdown from an airbase on a remote island in the Azores to the list of cost-cutting reforms Congress wants to prevent the Defense Department from carrying out. During debate this week over the fiscal 2014 defense spending bill, House lawmakers approved language prohibiting DOD from paring its force structure at Lajes Field on the Portuguese island of Terceira in the Azores. In January, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the drawdown, which had been announced the previous month, would be delayed, pushing it back to October 2014 …

House Approves Provisions Banning Civilian Furloughs

  • July 24, 2013
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The Pentagon would be prohibited from furloughing its civilian employees next year, after the House late Tuesday passed separate amendments to the fiscal 2014 defense spending bill. One of the provisions barring DOD from imposing unpaid leave on civilian workers — offered by Reps. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) and Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) — would apply to all civilian employees. A second amendment — sponsored by Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) — applies only to workers paid from working capital funds, which do not rely on direct congressional appropriations …

Lawmakers Reject Attempt to Tack on BRAC Ban to Spending Bill

  • July 23, 2013
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House lawmakers Tuesday night rejected an amendment prohibiting the Pentagon from spending funds from the fiscal 2014 defense appropriations bill to propose, plan for or carry out a new base closure round. The vote comes as a surprise as similar language previously was added on the House floor to the military construction-veterans affairs spending measure last month. The same ban also is included in the House version of the FY 2014 defense authorization bill …

Talk of Shutdown Begins on Capitol Hill

  • July 23, 2013
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While the differences between Senate Democrats and House Republicans over budget priorities have been starkly clear since lawmakers began taking up fiscal 2014 spending bills, talk of a government shutdown in the new fiscal year surfaced Tuesday for the first time this year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would not agree to a continuing resolution that allows sequestration to continue in FY 2014, as the House Republicans’ budget calls for. “I think it would be a disaster for this country, and I would do everything within my ability to oppose that …

Cleanup Progress at DOD Installations Continues to Advance

  • July 23, 2013
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The Pentagon has made significant progress in cleaning up contaminated sites at its installations in recent years, John Conger, DOD’s acting deputy undersecretary for installations and environment, told the audience last week at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. By 2018, the department will have finished cleaning up 90 percent of identified sites, and by 2021, it will have completed 95 percent of the sites, Conger said. While a few sites will require longer-term solutions, he added, “I’m proud of our cleanup program and I think we’re doing a pretty good job …

House Appropriators Consider Strategy for FY’2014 Continuing Resolution

  • July 22, 2013
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Discussions are under way among the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee for a strategy to keep the government running when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. In all likelihood Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution by that point, with the outstanding questions being what topline discretionary spending figure would be used and how long the stopgap measure would last. House appropriators are choosing between extending government operations at the fiscal 2013 level of $988 billion or using the $967 billion spending cap dictated by current budget laws for FY 2014 …

Sequestration Only Gets Worse in 2014, Navy Chief Says

  • July 22, 2013
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A second year of sequestration would set the Navy further back in terms of readiness and shipbuilding than automatic spending cuts are expected to this year, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday. Officials would be forced to cancel maintenance on even more ships in fiscal 2014, “and you can’t buy those back right away,” Greenert said. The readiness of the service’s aviation units also would continue to suffer during a second year of cuts …

Universities Question Impact of Bill Allowing Veterans to Pay In-State Tuition Rates

  • July 21, 2013
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University officials are expressing multiple concerns about legislation requiring public colleges to charge all veterans in-state tuition rates, including the potential it could harm veterans currently receiving benefits for tuition and fees through the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Different versions of the bill introduced earlier this year in the House and Senate would deny federal funding to schools that did not offer discounted rates to all veterans …

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