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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Hearing for Navy Installations Chief Nominee includes Only Minor Bumps

  • July 28, 2013
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Dennis McGinn, President Obama’s nominee to become the Navy’s assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment, received little opposition last week during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The most pointed questions came from the committee’s top Republican, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who asked McGinn about the Navy’s effort to shift toward renewable energy sources …

White House Girds for Budget Showdown in September

  • July 28, 2013
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The White House is considering adopting a hardline as it negotiates fiscal 2014 appropriations bills with Republican lawmakers, as part of a strategy to overturn sequestration. The resulting showdown in the weeks approaching the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year could force a government shutdown, assuming Republicans are equally adamant in swearing off of tax increases as a way to reduce the deficit, reported the Washington Post. The possibility that the White House would assume a more confrontational approach than it has in recent budget negotiations comes as senior advisers are becoming increasingly concerned about the viability of the president’s second-term agenda …

Budget Officials to Assess Possibility of Trimming Required Furlough Days

  • July 25, 2013
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DOD officials continue to monitor the department’s budget situation to determine if they can afford to shave the number of days of unpaid leave civilian workers are being forced to take before the end of the fiscal year. “There might be a chance of them reducing the number of furlough days. Undersecretary Hale said that is still on the table and they are looking at other areas where they are saving money,” Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) told Federal News Radio following a briefing by Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale …

White House, Senate Republicans Step up Fiscal Talks

  • July 25, 2013
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Ongoing negotiations between White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough and a group of eight Republican senators over long-term deficit reduction have entered a new stage, with the two parties now looking for ways to replace the remaining eight years of automatic spending cuts under sequestration. The talks are focusing on a handful of changes to entitlements that would generate significant savings, including a lower cost-of-living adjustment — chained CPI — and means testing for Medicare …

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 …

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