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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

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 …

Air Force Shelves Plan to Remove F-16 Squadron form Eielson

  • October 2, 2013
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The Air Force is abandoning its plan to shift 21 F-16s from Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage as a cost-cutting move, Alaska’s congressional delegation announced Wednesday. Sens. Mark Begich (D) and Lisa Murkowski (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) made the announcement, which ended a two-year battle by the lawmakers and Fairbanks leaders, after learning of the decision from Acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning and Pacific Air Forces Gen. Hawk Carlisle …

Defense Hawks Frustrated over Lack of Attention to Sequester

  • October 2, 2013
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Two years after Congress passed the Budget Control Act that put the federal government on the path to sequestration, congressional advocates for the military and defense lobbyists have made no progress in heading off $500 billion in automatic defense cuts, leading many to acknowledge that the deep spending reductions are here to stay. The lack of momentum to reverse the automatic spending cuts has been underscored in recent weeks by the clash over passing a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR), which has hinged on Obamacare rather than overall spending levels or the deleterious consequences of slashing the Pentagon’s budget by $52 billion this year …

As Stalemate Lingers, Budget Dispute Could Encompass Debt-Ceiling Extension

  • October 2, 2013
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Hopes that a White House meeting on Wednesday between President Obama and congressional leaders could break the impasse over a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution were dashed after a one-and-a-half-hour discussion ended with no visible progress on the second day of the government shutdown. After the meeting, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters that the president reiterated that he would not negotiate over demands to dismantle his signature health care law, and House and Senate leaders were no closer to finding a solution to reopen the government …

Military Pay Legislation Could Help DOD Limit Furloughs, McKeon Says

  • October 1, 2013
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel should take advantage of the military pay law President Obama signed Monday to reduce the number of civilian workers placed on furlough during the government shutdown, House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said Tuesday. In addition to requiring the government to pay members of the armed services on active duty, including Coast Guard personnel and reserve components, during a shutdown, the law requires civilian employees and contractors whose work supports active-duty troops to be paid …

Schools Remain Open for Military Children, but Commissaries to Close

  • October 1, 2013
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The government shutdown will have a varying impacts on services provided to military personnel, with schools run by the DOD Education Activity for military children remaining open while military commissaries will be forced to shut their doors. School personnel are exempt from the emergency furloughs imposed on about half of the Pentagon’s civilian workers as a result of the shutdown that began Tuesday. Schools will operate on a normal schedule and scheduled student activities will continue …

House Strategies to End Shutdown Rebuffed by Senate

  • October 1, 2013
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House Republicans on Tuesday failed to pass the chamber’s latest iteration to restore funding for at least some agencies, when separate resolutions to provide stopgap funding for the Veterans Affairs Department and the National Park Service and one to permit the D.C. government to continue operating failed to obtain a two-thirds majority. The three bills likely could pass today when Republican leaders plan to bring them back under regular rules so they can be passed by a simple majority. But Senate Democrats said the move is futile and would be rejected in that chamber …

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