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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

There is a Way to Jump Start a New BRAC Round, Former DOD Official Says

  • June 25, 2013
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One way the Pentagon could spur Congress to agree to hold another base closure round is to publicly release a list of bases it would close if it could, a strategy DOD relied on to build momentum to create the BRAC process more than 25 years ago, Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, writes in a commentary in the Hill. After President Reagan began his second term in 1985, the department faced a similar crisis as it does today, with a mandate to slash spending. Senate Armed Services Chairman Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) and Korb, then the assistant secretary of defense, came up with the idea of releasing a list of excess bases after Korb explained the difficulty of closing an installation under existing laws …

Army Drawdown Unlikely to Prompt Base Closures, Levin Says

  • June 25, 2013
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The Army could get by with fewer installations after its active-duty end strength drops to 490,000, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno indicated Tuesday, but Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he didn’t think the Army’s plan to rebalance its force structure will prompt lawmakers to approve a new round of base closures. “That is not what I understand the purpose or intent is … [and] I do not think they will have that effect,” Levin told reporters …

Panel to Monitor Military’s Use of Community-Installation Support Agreements

  • June 24, 2013
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The Senate Armed Services Committee is interested in tracking DOD’s implementation of section 331, the new authority allowing installations and their host communities to share base support services through intergovernmental support agreements. The committee report accompanying the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill it passed earlier this month directs DOD to submit a report by Feb. 1, 2014, that includes: a review of the policy adopted by DOD to guide the development of proposals to share installation support services …

Could Joint Basing Generate More Savings, Senate Committee Wonders

  • June 24, 2013
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The deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment would be required to assess the potential for the joint basing initiative to produce additional savings through “more rigorous management and streamlined administration of joint bases,” under a provision in the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month. The provision follows a Government Accountability Office conclusion that the estimated, 20-year savings for the initiative have fallen by nearly 90 percent from $2.3 billion to $249 million …

Reid to Bring FY’14 Spending Bills to Senate Floor

  • June 23, 2013
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The fiscal 2014 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill could be debated on the Senate floor next month, after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Friday that moving appropriations bills would be a primary focus of the chamber in the coming months. Reid indicated the narrow agenda is a response to the failure of House leadership Thursday to pass the farm bill. His larger concern was the difficulty he may face reaching a deal with House Republicans over other major issues, including agreements over FY 2014 topline spending and the need to raise the nation’s debt ceiling …

GSA Eager to Streamline Federal Property Footprint

  • June 20, 2013
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Dan Tangherlini, acting administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), told lawmakers he’s eager to work with Congress to ease the process for disposing of excess property. “I think the three ingredients you need to cook anything up in Washington are there. You have a proposal from the administration, you have a version of the bill from the House and you have your own version of a bill here in the Senate …

Partisan Vote on Spending Allocations Increases Prospects for Automatic Cuts in FY’14

  • June 20, 2013
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The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday adopted fiscal 2014 spending allocations that ignore sequestration and raise the likelihood that automatic sequester cuts will be applied to next year’s budget. The 15-14, party-line vote to approve the allocations for each of the 12 spending measures establishes a $1.058 trillion topline for federal spending, as compared to the $967 billion topline the House is using as the basis for divvying up funds among appropriations bills …

It’s Not Entirely Clear How Much Excess Capacity Exists in DOD, GAO Finds

  • June 20, 2013
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It is difficult to evaluate the accuracy of the Pentagon’s estimate that about 20 percent excess capacity remains since the end of BRAC 2005 due to a number of limitations in the methods DOD uses to estimate its surplus property outside of a base closure round, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). DOD has recently stated that it has 20 percent excess capacity based on calculations conducted in 2004 and 2005. GAO found, however, that the calculation combined figures expressing different measures …

Republicans to Resist Higher Senate Top Line in Committee

  • June 20, 2013
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Senate Republicans will not go along with the Appropriations Committee’s plan to ignore spending caps under sequestration and allocate $1.058 trillion among 12 spending bills. While GOP opposition cannot stop Democrats from approving spending allocations and moving individual appropriations bills in committee, it can stop spending measures from being passed on the chamber floor, reported CQ …

Cruz Explains Amendment Blocking BRAC

  • June 19, 2013
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In light of recent reports describing questionable expenditures on overseas military bases, the Pentagon needs to curtail spending on those facilities before reviewing its domestic infrastructure, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) said in explaining the amendment he sponsored last week during the Senate Armed Services Committee’s consideration of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill. “It is essential that we ensure our nation’s spending on military bases is prioritized appropriately …

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