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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Planned Cuts to Air Force Units in Europe May Be Postponed

  • September 16, 2014
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Planned cuts to Air Force units based in Europe may be delayed over concerns about Russia’s intentions toward Ukraine and Eastern Europe, defense officials said Tuesday. “I see this building now moving towards a review of those decisions,” Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command, told reporters at the Pentagon. The department had intended to retire 21 overseas F-15C fighter jets — believed to be located at RAF Lakenheath, England — in fiscal 2015, but Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said she would like to keep that unit in place for the time being …

CR on Path for Approval

  • September 16, 2014
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As the House on Tuesday began to debate an amendment to a fiscal 2015 continuing resolution authorizing the administration to support Syrian rebels, there appears to be sufficient bipartisan support in both chambers to pass the amendment along with the underlying stopgap spending bill. The House is expected to finish floor debate and vote on the amendment and CR on Wednesday. The Senate plans to vote on the stopgap, which would fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by the end of the week …

Senate Confirms Air Force Installations Nominee

  • September 15, 2014
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The Air Force’s top installations post will be filled by a Senate-confirmed individual for the first time in 18 months after the chamber last week confirmed Miranda Ballentine to be the service’s assistant secretary for installations, environment and logistics. Ballentine, a top sustainability and renewable energy official for Wal-Mart Stores, is expected to begin working at the Pentagon on Sept. 22, according to an Air Force spokesman. President Obama nominated Ballentine for the post in January. Kathleen Ferguson has been the acting assistant secretary since March 2013 when Terry Yonkers stepped down …

House, Senate Committees Slated to Hash out Defense Authorization Bill

  • September 15, 2014
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Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees are scheduled to meet this week to begin discussions on crafting a compromise fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, a move signaling that the Senate is unlikely to take up its version of the annual defense policy bill. The discussions would replace a formal House-Senate conference, with the effort echoing the path the two committees went down last year after the FY 2014 authorization bill got hung up in the Senate in November …

House Sets Plan for Moving CR, Language to Support Syrian Rebels

  • September 15, 2014
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The House plans to vote Wednesday or Thursday on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through Dec. 11 that would include a debate over an amendment authorizing the Obama administration to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State. If the fiscal 2015 stopgap passes in the House, the Senate would take it up before the end of the week. On Monday night, House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) expressed confidence that both the CR and the language authorizing the arming of Syrian rebels would pass …

Top House Appropriator Seeks Omnibus during Lame-Duck Session

  • September 14, 2014
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Harold Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is trying to steer House leaders to embrace a yearend fiscal 2015 omnibus spending package during a lame-duck session when the continuing resolution now under consideration would run out. Rogers is hoping to recreate the 12-bill package he negotiated with his Senate counterpart Barbara Mikulski for FY 2014 in less than a month last December and January, reported CQ. “I want to see us get our business done and come in to the new year with a clean slate. I don’t want the new Congress in January to spend their first weeks or months dealing with past problems. I’d like to have a fresh start …

Officials Dedicate Intrepid Center at Ft. Campbell

  • September 11, 2014
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Military leaders and members of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund formally dedicated the new Intrepid Spirit Center at Fort Campbell, Ky., on Monday to treat returning service members with traumatic brain injuries and other conditions. The Fort Campbell facility is the third of nine planned Intrepid Spirit Centers nationwide. The first two centers — dedicated last fall at Fort Belvoir, Va., and at Camp Lejeune, N.C. — already have provided care for 2,000 service members, reported the Army News Service. Centers are currently under construction at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Hood, Texas. The Fort Campbell center anticipates treating 1,300 to 1,500 patients annually …

House to Take up CR Next Week

  • September 11, 2014
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The House is expected to vote by next Wednesday on a continuing resolution (CR) needed to keep the federal government running after Sept. 30, even as Republican leaders have not yet decided whether to include language requested by President Obama authorizing the training and arming of Syrian rebels who are fighting the Islamic State. Regardless of the House leadership’s decision, the rest of the fiscal 2015 stopgap spending bill, which would fund the government through Dec. 11, will remain unchanged from the version introduced Tuesday, reported CQ. At the same time, other issues that could endanger support for the CR, including a short-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, seem to have diminished with the discussion over how to respond to the Islamic State now the primary focus …

Chances Dim for September Vote on Policy Bill, Levin Says

  • September 10, 2014
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The Senate likely will not act on the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill before lawmakers leave Washington later this month, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday. Levin is not giving up, though, and continues to work with James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the panel’s ranking member, to put together a list of relevant amendments which could be considered in a limited amount of floor time. His goal is to reach a compromise with Inhofe over a unanimous consent agreement, reported the Hill. About 140 amendments have been attached to the annual policy bill. The Senate could finish debating the measure in one or two days, Levin said. The path, however, has become more complicated as a result of the debate over whether Congress should vote to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

White House Request Delays CR Vote

  • September 10, 2014
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House Republicans have pushed back the chamber’s vote on the fiscal 2015 continuing resolution after the White House asked to add language authorizing the government to take action in Syria against the Islamic State. The president’s request to include Title X authorization language for the United States to train and arm Syrian rebels who are fighting the Islamic State came at the eleventh hour, reported CQ. The House now is expected to take up the stopgap spending measure, which would fund the government through Dec. 11, next week …

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