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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Defense Bill Not Guaranteed Smooth Path to Passage

  • December 3, 2014
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The House is scheduled to take up the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill today, after the House Rules Committee on Wednesday passed a rule to expedite its passage. While the House is expected to approve the compromise legislation unveiled earlier this week, its path in the Senate has been complicated by a decision by congressional leaders to append a package of almost 100 public lands provisions to the defense bill. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R) has vowed to block the Senate’s attempt to pass the legislation next week over the land swaps …

House Spending Plan May Need Democratic Support

  • December 3, 2014
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With House conservatives critical of their leaders’ plan to wrap up fiscal 2015 appropriations bills, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) may need to rely on Democrats to advance the package. House leaders want to move an omnibus made up of individual spending bills for 11 appropriations panels along with a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security that lasts for only several months. By including only short-term funding for immigration-related agencies, Republican leaders say their approach will buy the party time to come up with a viable way to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration …

DOD Likely to Continue Pursuit of BRAC under Carter

  • December 3, 2014
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Ashton Carter, who administration officials said Tuesday will be nominated shortly by President Obama to replace Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, likely will continue the Pentagon’s recent requests for a new BRAC round as one of a series of reforms needed to accommodate stringent spending caps. Closing excess bases needs to be a component of DOD’s effort to find efficiencies that spare military capabilities, Carter argued during several speeches he made as deputy defense secretary, a position the 60-year-old physicist held from October 2011 until December 2013 …

Reid to Support House Plan for Avoiding Government Shutdown

  • December 2, 2014
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday said he would support the House Republican plan to fund all government agencies, except for the Department of Homeland Security, through a year-long omnibus. House approval of individual spending bills for 11 appropriations panels with a continuing resolution for Homeland Security that lasts for only several months — earning the strategy the moniker, “CRomnibus” — would be a policy win, Reid said, reported the Hill. “That would be a big accomplishment if we could get a bill over here that would fund all the appropriations subcommittees except for one …

House, Senate Give up Ground Reluctantly on DOD Reforms

  • December 2, 2014
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House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders reached agreement on a compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill that offers the Pentagon only moderate concessions on many of its cost-saving reforms affecting military compensation and force structure. On one of the issues that held up a deal until Monday, committee leaders agreed to slow the growth in the basic allowance for housing (BAH) so it covers only 99 percent of costs, reported Stars and Stripes. DOD had proposed slowing increases in the BAH until it covered only 95 percent of costs …

Defense Budget Insufficient to Meet Strategic Guidance, Independent Panel Concludes

  • December 2, 2014
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The defense budget is inadequate to meet the Pentagon’s strategic requirements, even in the absence of threats which emerged over the past year, two members of an independent panel formed to assess the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Michèle Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, said the Budget Control Act spending caps pose “a threat to national security” and could jeopardize the lives of service members if another conflict were to arise. Congress should approve the department’s proposals to slash spending through a new BRAC round and reform military compensation …

House, Senate Resolve Impasse over Authorization Bill

  • December 1, 2014
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Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees reached agreement on a compromise fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, after breaking an impasse over two Pentagon proposals intended to trim the cost of military compensation. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced the breakthrough on Monday, but did not say how the issues had been resolved. “We compromised,” Levin told reporters Monday evening. “It takes two, not just to tango, but to compromise.” He indicated details would be released on Tuesday …

House GOP Searches for Spending Bill Sweet Spot

  • December 1, 2014
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House Republicans on Tuesday will try to reach a consensus on a strategy for wrapping up fiscal 2015 appropriations before the current continuing resolution runs out Dec. 11. Republican leaders are trying to find an approach that satisfies conservatives eager to block President Obama’s executive action on immigration as well as other lawmakers unwilling to risk another federal-wide shutdown. One proposal that could strike that balance calls for funding most government agencies through a year-long omnibus, with a short-term CR for immigration-related programs …

Compensation Panel Not Aiming to Solve Pentagon Budget Challenges, Commissioner Says

  • December 1, 2014
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The Defense Department should not pin its hopes on finding major budget savings in the final report of a nine-member commission established by Congress to review military compensation, according to one member of the commission. “We’re going to work on what’s important to properly recruit and retain and resource the force necessary for the war after next,” former Congressman Stephen Buyer (R), who represented Indiana for nine terms, told Stars and Stripes. “I have told leadership at the Pentagon that their present budget issue is not my problem. Don’t look to me to solve your present budget problem. If you’ve got issues with sequester, then you deal with that with the Congress. That’s not my job …

House Republican Plan Calls for Omnibus to Fund Most Agencies

  • November 30, 2014
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House Republican leaders are expected on Tuesday to propose funding most government agencies through a year-long omnibus, with a short-term continuing resolution for immigration-related programs. The latest House GOP proposal to confront President Obama over the unilateral actions he took last month shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation would not necessarily avert a government shutdown, however, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week said Democrats would not support such a plan. “We will not be enablers to a Republican government shutdown, partial or otherwise …

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