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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Frustration over Impact of Defense Cuts Sets in for Senate Panel

  • November 7, 2013
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The latest hearing on the impact of sequestration featuring the military’s top officers left Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Armed Services Committee discouraged that their colleagues have failed to avert the deep spending cuts and, in many cases, embarrassed. “I feel ashamed to have you come back here again and again and again to tell us the same thing, and not see us doing anything about it,” Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Thursday …

Senate to Take up Defense Policy Bill in November, Inhofe Says

  • November 6, 2013
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The Senate will debate the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill the week of Nov. 18, according to the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee. “We’ve been talking about it. There’s been some talk about the 18th is when it would start,” James Inhofe (R-Okla.) told Defense News this week on his first full day back on Capitol Hill after undergoing a heart procedure in Oklahoma last month. Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), however, said he couldn’t confirm when the annual policy bill will go to the chamber floor …

Republican Senators Look to Provide DOD Flexibility to Manage Automatic Cuts

  • November 6, 2013
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Despite the GOP’s embrace of sequestration, a number of Republican senators want to provide the Pentagon flexibility to allocate the deep spending cuts if the House-Senate budget conference fails to reach a deal to replace them. The group includes lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee as well as some who are not. “There is going to be an effort to give the Pentagon some discretion,” Pat Roberts (Kan.) told Stars and Stripes. “It’s not so much the amount [of the cuts], but the discretion …

Welsh Urges Congressional Authority to Eliminate Excess Bases

  • November 5, 2013
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Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welsh wants Congress to authorize a new base closure round and allow the service to slash its end strength, two tools that would best help officials mitigate the impact of $500 billion in further defense cuts. “We need help in planning for the future,” Welsh the Colorado Springs Gazette. “Those two things make up 55 percent of our overall budget …

Strategic Choices Point to Reduced Need for ‘Garrison Force,’ Hagel Says

  • November 5, 2013
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Deep cuts in military end strength are one likely outcome of budget and strategic planning efforts now under way at the Pentagon, as significant changes are expected across every aspect of the department, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday during a speech delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The overriding question Hagel broached four months ago when he introduced the results of the Strategic Choices and Management Review — whether the nation will keep a heavy active-duty military with aging equipment and technology, or reduce the number of forces while retaining a focus on modernization — seemingly has been answered …

Congressional Staff Briefed on Shared Services

  • October 31, 2013
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Senior DOD officials, House Armed Services Committee staff and community experts briefed Capitol Hill staff Wednesday on the new authority allowing installations and their host communities to share base support services through intergovernmental agreements…

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…

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