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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

House Plan for New Supercommittee Brings Shutdown No Closer to Resolution

  • October 8, 2013
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President Obama and congressional Democrats on Tuesday said they would oppose a House plan to create a bipartisan panel of lawmakers to negotiate a short-term measure to end the partial government shutdown and extend the nation’s debt ceiling, bringing the weeks-long dispute over funding the government into fiscal 2014 no closer to resolution. The plan approved by the House would establish a working group of 10 congressmen, including four Democrats chosen by the chamber’s minority leader, and 10 senators, with four Republicans selected by that chamber’s minority leader …

Recall of Civilian Workers Allows Commissaries to Reopen

  • October 7, 2013
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Military commissaries closed due to the government shutdown resumed normal operations Monday, although it may take up to five days to get the shelves fully stocked, according to the Defense Commissary Agency. Stores normally closed on Mondays will reopen on their next scheduled operating day. Reopening the military grocery stores restores a major benefit for service members and their families, as the discounts on food provide savings approaching 30 percent. On Saturday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that most defense civilians who had been furloughed following the government shutdown can return to work. Read the story in USA Today.

House Not Likely to Take up a CR Free of Obamacare Provisions

  • October 7, 2013
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The lines that separate House Republicans and Senate Democrats over passing a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) remained hardened as the government shutdown completed its first week. President Obama and Democratic lawmakers are still holding out for the House to vote on CR without language unraveling the Affordable Care Act, but as of Monday that aim is no closer to being achieved than at any time since the chamber first passed a stopgap funding bill last month with a provision to defund the law …

Civilian Workers Stream Back to Work

  • October 7, 2013
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Hundreds of thousands of DOD civilians returned to work Monday after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the end of emergency furloughs imposed when the government shut down last Tuesday. The recall should allow 90 percent or more of furloughed workers to return to work, according to Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale. Hale told reporters at a press briefing over the weekend he didn’t know exactly what portion of the furloughed civilian workforce would come to work early this week …

Republican Talk Shifts to Larger Fiscal Deal to Address Shutdown, Debt Ceiling

  • October 6, 2013
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By the end of the week, the conversation on Capitol Hill, at least from House and Senate Republicans, veered away from narrow demands to overturn President Obama’s health care law toward the need for a budget deal that addresses both the weeklong government shutdown and the fast approaching deadline to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. House Republicans meeting Friday discussed a variety of changes to chip away at the nation’s growing debt, including reforming entitlement programs and overhauling tax policy, which could be part of a broad agreement that addresses both fiscal issues …

Installation, Family Support Workers Headed Back to Work

  • October 6, 2013
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Many, if not most, civilian workers employed at military installations will be able to return from the emergency furloughs imposed one week ago after Congress failed to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running in the new fiscal year. The federal government’s interpretation of the Pay Our Military Act means that a large swath of civilian workers who provide ongoing support to military members can be recalled, Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told reporters Saturday. In general, civilians that focus on the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of military members can return to work as soon as Monday …

Hagel Orders Back Most Furloughed Civilians

  • October 6, 2013
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Most of the Defense Department’s civilian workforce that had been placed on emergency furlough last week due to the government shutdown will return to work this week, following an announcement Saturday by Secretary Chuck Hagel. The decision follows a weeklong review of legislation enacted last week to ensure members of the armed services on active duty, including Coast Guard personnel and reserve components, were paid during the shutdown …

DOD to Quietly Award Contracts during Shutdown

  • October 3, 2013
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The Defense Department will continue to award hundreds of millions of dollars in acquisition and services contracts during the government shutdown, but it will not publicly announce them. Instead, officials will make one comprehensive announcement of contract awards after the shutdown ends, according to spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen. Any contract awards made during the shutdown will use funds appropriated in prior years, reported Defense News. Separately, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced it will be unable to process bid protests until after the shutdown ends as the office responsible for protests will be closed. Any new protest received while the congressional watchdog agency is closed will be treated as filed on the day it resumes operations, reported Defense One. Deadlines for protest filings that fall on a day the agency is closed will be extended to the first day GAO reopens.

U.S., Japan Codify Changes to Marine Corps Realignment

  • October 3, 2013
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry and their Japanese counterparts reaffirmed their commitment to shift thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Guam during a signing ceremony Thursday in Tokyo. Under the realignment plan, which was revised in April 2012, up to 5,000 Marines will relocate to Guam beginning in the mid-2020s, a senior U.S. administration official told reporters. The Japanese government will contribute $3.1 billion to support the effort to build new facilities to accommodate the troops …

No End in Sight over Budget Impasse

  • October 3, 2013
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The government shutdown extended into its third day with no indication as to how the stalemate between House Republicans and Senate Democrats over funding the federal government for the initial weeks of the new fiscal year can be resolved. Some House Republicans have said they are willing to set aside conservatives’ demands to unravel Obamacare and vote with Democrats to pass a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) that doesn’t undermine the president’s health care law, but Republican leaders so far have refused to bring a clean CR to the House floor …

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