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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

House Approves Authorization Bill

  • June 16, 2013
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The House approved its fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill Friday, ignoring a White House veto threat over multiple issues including the absence of language permitting the Pentagon to conduct a base closure round in 2015. In fact, rather than merely leaving out the BRAC authorization requested by the administration, the legislation, H.R. 1960, includes language precluding DOD from spending any funds “to propose, plan for or execute an additional BRAC round …

Senate Action on Policy Bill Likely Closes Window on BRAC this Year

  • June 16, 2013
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The Senate Armed Services Committee’s vote Thursday to approve a defense authorization bill that rejected the Obama administration’s request for a BRAC round in 2015 likely spells the end of the debate this year on Capitol Hill over the possibility of scheduling additional base closures. While the measure still needs to be debated on the Senate floor, even in the unlikely event an amendment authorizing a new round were to pass at that stage, without support from the Senate Armed Services Committee leadership, such a provision would have virtually no chance of surviving a House-Senate conference …

Next BRAC Round May Not Be around the Corner

  • June 16, 2013
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The panelists assembled Friday for the Defense Policy Town Hall at the Defense Communities National Summit all agreed that DOD urgently needs to close excess bases and facilities as part of an effort to reform its spending, but were less certain as to when Congress would go along with the suggestion. “I wouldn’t say there is an air of inevitability,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute …

BRAC Voted Down during Debate in Senate Committee

  • June 14, 2013
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The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved language blocking the Pentagon from launching a BRAC round, before completing consideration of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill. The amendment reportedly would lift the ban after DOD finishes an assessment of excess infrastructure at its overseas bases, according to the Hill. Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) described the amendment at a news conference after his panel approved the bill by a 23-3 vote …

Pain of Sequestration to Linger, Installation Officials Say

  • June 13, 2013
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Installation funding is bearing the brunt of the impact from the automatic spending cuts triggered under sequestration in fiscal 2013, forcing the services to skimp on facilities sustainment and slash base operating support budgets, according to the military’s top installation officials. The three services have been deferring virtually all non-emergency maintenance — funded under the sustainment, restoration and modernization account — at their installations. Base operating support has been cut drastically as well, with the Navy slicing that account by more than 50 percent …

Defense Spending Bill Advances to House Floor

  • June 13, 2013
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The House Appropriations Committee passed a $512.5 billion fiscal 2014 defense spending bill Wednesday despite protests from Democrats that the measure breached spending caps under sequestration at the expense of domestic programs. The measure’s $512.5 billion topline for the base budget would represent a $5.1 billion drop below the FY 2013 enacted level and a $3.4 billion decline from the president’s request. The topline figure is $28.1 billion above the spending cap under sequestration for FY 2014, however, which also includes military construction and the Energy Department’s nuclear program …

House, Senate Committee Take up Defense Policy Bill

  • June 12, 2013
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Action on the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill began in the House Wednesday, with Armed Services Committee leaders delivering open statements on the floor during the evening, and the Rules Committee considering amendments. House members will begin to debate a long list of amendments Thursday, a slog which could keep them in session late into the night …

Contractors Not Exempt from Spending Cutbacks, Hale Says

  • June 11, 2013
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The $37 billion in sequester cuts the Pentagon is taking in fiscal 2013 likely will result in a “sharp drop” in contractors, Comptroller Robert Hale told the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee on Tuesday. “The majority of [the sequester] is going to come out of contractors — about $2 billion will come out of furloughs,” Hale told lawmakers, reported American Forces Press Service. That means a drop in the number of contractors in the department. “I don’t know yet how much, because the year isn’t over, but I think there will be a sharp drop,” Hale said. He told the subcommittee that about 700,000 contractors work throughout DOD.

Skimping on Facilities Funding Yields False Savings, House Appropriators Say

  • June 11, 2013
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The House Appropriations Committee questions the Defense Department’s claim that trimming funding for facility sustainment produces savings, according to its draft report accompanying the fiscal 2014 defense spending bill. The committee notes that its report accompanying the FY 2012 defense spending bill expressed concern over many of DOD’s proposed efficiency savings. “In particular, the report stated that ‘more troubling were instances in which underfunding valid requirements were claimed as efficiencies,’ including the decision to underfund base facility sustainment requirements and claim the reductions as infrastructure savings …

White House Veto Threat over Authorization Bill Cites BRAC Request

  • June 11, 2013
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Language in the House version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill precluding the Pentagon from planning for a new BRAC round was one of a multitude of provisions that prompted a veto threat from the White House on Tuesday. The statement said the administration “strongly objects” to the provision, which would prohibit DOD from spending any funds to “propose, plan for, or execute” an additional BRAC round …

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