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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

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 …

Pentagon to Force Issue over Shrinking Funding Levels in FY’15 Budget Request

  • November 20, 2013
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In its first spending plan acknowledging the long-term spending constraints imposed under sequestration, the Pentagon is expected to call for cuts in an array of benefits for military personnel as part of its fiscal 2015 budget request, including education, healthcare and housing. The spending proposal would offer a multi-year plan to trim benefit levels …

Debate over Defense Bill Bogs Down, Jeopardizing Prospect of Conference Agreement

  • November 20, 2013
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Debate over the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill in the Senate stalled Wednesday as the two parties failed to reach an agreement on how many amendments would receive floor votes, raising the likelihood that the chamber will have to finish debate on the legislation when it returns to Washington following its scheduled two-week Thanksgiving recess. The dispute prevented Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) from holding votes on two amendments dealing with sexual assault after lawmakers spent hours debating the issue …

Little Opportunity for Budget Conference to Reach Deal

  • November 19, 2013
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The House-Senate budget conference may not meet again until less than a week is left before its Dec. 13 deadline to come to agreement over a fiscal 2014 budget. That lack of public activity, along with reports of the slow pace of private talks between House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is chairing the committee, and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), have dampened hopes the panel will strike a deal over a topline spending figure and replace at least some of the scheduled sequester cuts …

Plan to Soften Sequester’s Impact Encounters Resistance from Fellow Republicans

  • November 19, 2013
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A plan promoted by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to lessen the impact sequestration is set to impose on the fiscal 2014 defense budget may not gain sufficient support from other Republicans or Democrats in the Senate. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said she would not support the amendment because it relies on cuts in defense spending in future years to offset the smaller sequester rather than reductions to entitlement programs …

Fiscal Challenges Facing Military Are Cumulative, Hagel Says

  • November 18, 2013
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The challenges facing the military, including sequestration, aging equipment and a force under stress from more than a decade of deployments, are cumulative and will become more apparent over time, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday. “But the effects [of curtailed training] will be felt for a long period of time to come …

White House Highlights Shortcomings of Authorization Bill

  • November 18, 2013
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The White House on Monday said it would not veto the Senate’s version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, but listed a number of provisions, including language precluding a new BRAC round, it has “serious concerns” with. The “Statement of Administration Policy” from the Office of Management and Budget said the administration “strongly objects” to language in S. 1197 requiring a formal review of the military’s overseas infrastructure before Congress would authorize a future base closure round …

Senators Craft Plan to Soften Impact of Defense Cuts

  • November 18, 2013
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Three senior GOP senators are working on an amendment to the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill that would smooth out the $52 billion cut the Pentagon’s current year budget is scheduled to absorb under sequestration. The amendment, which would be introduced by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), is expected to call for the defense budget to take only a $26 billion hit in FY 2014, with the rest of this year’s sequester applied over the next seven fiscal years, reported CQ. If successful, the amendment would allow DOD to avoid a deep trough in its budget this year but, at the same time, limit the growth of spending to only 1 percent annually through FY 2021 …

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