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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Appropriators Begin Battle over Defense vs. Domestic Spending Priorities

  • October 31, 2013
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If the House-Senate budget conference committee that began meeting this week comes to an agreement on spending levels, another budget battle looms: Which of the 12 appropriations bills should be considered priorities if lawmakers can address appropriations through regular order?

Budget Conferees Open with Talk of Bipartisan Deal but Acknowledge Task Is Tall

  • October 30, 2013
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Leaders of the House-Senate budget conference committee opened the panel’s first session Wednesday promising to work toward bipartisan solutions, but they also doubled down on their parties’ differing positions. In general, Republicans want to look at reducing spending while Democratic negotiators want tax increases on the table…

Former HASC Chairman Skelton Dies; Defense Hawk Used Position to Protect Bases

  • October 29, 2013
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Ike Skelton, former chairman of the House Armed Committee and 17-term representative from Missouri, died on Monday in Virginia. He was 81. Over his 34-year tenure, Skelton proved a powerful supporter of defense spending and an influential backer of military installations in his home state of Missouri…

Senate Plans NDAA Action Before Thanksgiving

  • October 29, 2013
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Senate leaders plan to take up the annual National Defense Authorization Act by the end of November. “We’re going to take up the defense authorization bill, which supports our troops and ensures this nation does everything in our power to keep America safe from those who would do us harm,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the Senate floor…

Congressional Leaders Giving Budget Committee Space to Work, Preparing Contingencies

  • October 29, 2013
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When a joint House-Senate committee meets Wednesday to discuss differences between the two chambers’ budget priorities, the panel will have leeway to consider ways to address sequestration and potential new sources of revenue, CQ reports. The revenue side of the equation…

Drawdown Will Hit DOD Budget Hard, Analyst Says

  • October 28, 2013
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Historic downsizing trends indicate that the planned military drawdown will bring deeper cuts to the Department of Defense budget than sequestration, according to one analyst. “I think that the sequester-level budget caps might actually be a ceiling, not a floor, for the defense budget in the coming years,” Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment said last week…

Ahead of Weds. Budget Meeting, Both Sides Say Grand Deal Unlikely

  • October 28, 2013
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President Obama said Monday he will “keep fighting” to reverse across-the-board cuts to federal agencies. The President’s remarks during an event at FBI headquarters come two days before Congressional Democrats and Republicans meet Wednesday for formal budget talks, where sequestration likely will be a point of discussion…

Carper, Coburn Point to GAO Report to Promote Bill Streamlining Property Disposal

  • October 27, 2013
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The chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee underscored the findings of a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the leasing of federal facilities to promote legislation intended to jump start the disposal of surplus buildings by the federal government. The GAO report calls on the General Services Administration (GSA) to improve how it operates leasing and capital planning programs by providing greater transparency and better management of high-value leases …

Prospect of Full-Year CR Raises Anxiety Level at Pentagon

  • October 27, 2013
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The deal reached earlier this month to end the government shutdown and fund agencies through Jan. 15 was wholeheartedly embraced by top DOD officials, but the need to operate under a continuing resolution (CR) for a minimum of three months and, possibly, for all of fiscal 2014 is creating concern at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill. DOD has never operated under a year-long CR since the advent of modern budgeting in the 1970s. The deep chasm between the parties over the budget, though, means there is a distinct possibility that the only way to avert another shutdown is to pass a CR that runs through next September …

Both Sides Indicate Need to Target Sequester Cuts

  • October 27, 2013
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Comments by Democratic and Republican leaders last week signaled a common goal of addressing automatic spending cuts during deliberations of the House-Senate budget conference. Whether the two parties are willing to make the necessary compromises to “buy back” some or all of the sequester cuts is still an open question. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) seemed to create an opening when he told Bloomberg Television he would support new revenues to reach a deal …

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