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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

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 …

House Introduces CR with Limited Extras

  • September 9, 2014
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House Republicans on Tuesday introduced a continuing resolution to keep the federal government running through Dec. 11, while also advancing several urgent needs. The most controversial provision in the fiscal 2015 stopgap measure would extend the Export-Import Bank through June 30, 2015. The provision is opposed by conservative Republicans and could cause them to withhold support for the bill, but the loss of those votes is not expected to jeopardize passage in the House …

Many ‘Most Vulnerable’ Democrats Sit on Armed Services Panels

  • September 8, 2014
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A number of Democrats ranked as “most vulnerable” by CQ Roll Call to losing their re-election bids in November sit on their chamber’s Armed Services Committee. With the committees’ chairmen — Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) — set to retire at the end of the current session, the potential exists for a fair amount of reshuffling on the two panels, reported CQ. Of course, a Republican takeover of the Senate can be expected to have more far-reaching consequences. Three of the 10 most vulnerable senators are Democrats on that chamber’s Armed Services Committee — Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Udall (Colo.) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.). In the House, three of the 10 most vulnerable members are Democrats on the Armed Services Committee —Ron Barber (Ariz.), Bill Enyart (Ill.) and Scott Peters (Calif.). The most vulnerable list of House members also includes one Republican on the panel — Mike Coffman (Colo.).

Pentagon to Keep Spotlight on Administrative Reforms, Hagel Says

  • September 8, 2014
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Administrative reforms at DOD will continue to be a priority despite renewed threats around the globe, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters Monday in Turkey. “As many of these more immediate threats that face our country and the world … must be a priority, that said, we also have other responsibilities,” Hagel said, reported Defense News. There will be a “continued focus on the reform measures that we have undertaken” — including changes within acquisition, healthcare and the nuclear force …

Thornberry Firmly against Holding a BRAC Round Soon

  • September 8, 2014
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Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), considered the frontrunner to replace Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) in the next Congress as chair of the Armed Services Committee, told supporters of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., last week that he opposes conducting a new round of base closures in the near future. “I don’t think you are going to see a BRAC anytime soon. We haven’t paid for the last one …

Congress Focuses on CR

  • September 7, 2014
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Passing a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government running in the new fiscal year is one of Congress’ highest priorities before it breaks for the November elections, with House lawmakers planning to begin work on the measure this week. At this point, the fiscal 2015 stopgap is expected to last through Dec. 11 or 12, allowing lawmakers to tackle a year-end spending measure during a lame-duck session. After last year’s government shutdown, congressional leaders will resist adding provisions that could disrupt the bill’s progress, but lawmakers still will try to boost pet programs or address policy issues in the measure …

House Looks to Move Clean CR

  • September 4, 2014
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The short-term continuing resolution (CR) the House takes up next week to keep the government running after Sept. 30 will largely be free of pet provisions requested by lawmakers. As the only legislation Congress is likely to advance before the November elections, the stopgap will attract numerous requests from members to include favored projects or other policy riders, but only a handful of special provisions are likely to be included, reports CQ. House Republicans likely will include several “anomalies” in the CR, including a short-term extension of the Export-Import Bank and, possibly, extra funds to fight wildfires and to handle border security …

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