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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

House Insistence on Knocking Down Obamacare Drives Government to Brink of Shutdown

  • September 30, 2013
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The Senate late Monday night rejected the House’s third attempt in four days to dismantle elements of President Obama’s signature health care law, leaving no clear avenue for avoiding a government shutdown to go into effect at midnight. Action in the Senate began in the afternoon when the chamber turned back the two amendments the House attached to the fiscal 2014 continuing resolution over the weekend — one delaying implementation of the Affordable Care Act by one year, the other repealing a tax on medical devices …

Shutdown Would Impose Furloughs on DOD Civilians Again

  • September 29, 2013
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About half of the Pentagon’s 800,000-member civilian workforce would be placed on unpaid furlough starting Tuesday if the government shuts down due to the failure of Congress to pass a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution, Comptroller Robert Hale told reporters Friday. The emergency furloughs triggered by a lapse in appropriations at the beginning of the new fiscal year would be the second time in recent months civilian employees are subject to unpaid furloughs …

No Way Out: Shutdown Imminent after House Makes Late Night Changes to CR

  • September 29, 2013
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Opting not to back down from their fight to abolish Obamacare, House Republicans early Sunday morning added two new amendments designed to undermine President Obama’s signature health care legislation to the fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) passed Friday by the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) earlier vowed to reject the two amendments when his chamber returns on Monday, making a government shutdown starting Tuesday a near certainty …

Ayotte Places Hold on Air Force Nominee over A-10 Retirement Plans

  • September 26, 2013
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New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) has placed a hold on the nominee to be the next Air Force secretary over concerns that the service is planning on retiring its entire fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. Ayotte’s move comes one week after she pressed nominee Deborah James, president of the technology and engineering division at SAIC, as to whether the Air Force had already decided to retire the fleet. Lee responded that she didn’t believe a decision had been made, but she acknowledged that officials were considering complete divestitures of aircraft types as one way to address budget constraints …

House Leaders’ Intention to Amend CR Raises Threat of Shutdown

  • September 26, 2013
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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday said he does not plan on accepting the fiscal 2014 continuing resolution the Senate is on the verge of passing, setting up the possibility of last-minute machinations between the House and Senate that could result in a government shutdown on Oct. 1. The House has not yet settled on what provisions it will add to the measure, but reportedly is considering several options, including revoking the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax, repealing a board established to make recommendations about Medicare and eliminating federal contributions to help pay for lawmakers’ health coverage …

Senate Committee Advances Nomination of Candidate for DOD Readiness Chief

  • September 25, 2013
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The Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday advanced the nomination of Jessica Wright to be undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, the department’s senior official responsible for issues related to military and civilian personnel, including quality of life. Wright has served as acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness since Jan. 1, and previously served as assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs …

Prospects for Reversing Sequester Cuts Remain Uncertain

  • September 25, 2013
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Despite pockets of strong support for military spending among Republicans, particularly on the Armed Services and Appropriations committees, many GOP lawmakers are not willing to compromise on sequester cuts due to potential primary challengers from candidates on the right. Some Republican defense hawks have indicated they would be willing to accept Democrats’ demand to increase revenues in exchange for relieving at least some of the automatic spending cuts, but the Republican conference collectively is not yet ready to make such a deal …

House Considers Options to Avert Government Shutdown

  • September 25, 2013
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House Republicans are planning to amend the fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) that is expected to come out of the Senate this weekend, but at the same time they may advance a very short-term stopgap measure to avoid a government shutdown. Republican leaders are not saying what policy provisions the House might add to the CR before sending it back to the Senate shortly before the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year …

Think Tank Offers Recipe to Cut $50B from DOD Budget

  • September 24, 2013
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The Pentagon could slash spending by $50 billion annually, allowing it to satisfy the automatic cuts imposed by the sequester, through a combination of management reforms, reductions in force structure and slowing modernization efforts, according to a report released Tuesday by the Stimson Center. Strategic Agility: Strong National Defense for Today’s Global and Fiscal Realities represents the consensus of Stimson’s 17-member defense advisory committee, made up of senior national security experts and former defense officials. The report includes 10 administrative reforms that are projected to save $22.4 billion in fiscal 2015 …

Senate to Shorten Length of CR

  • September 24, 2013
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he would shorten the length of the House-passed continuing resolution (CR) to seven weeks in an attempt to increase the chances Congress reaches a deal to reverse at least a portion of the sequester cuts slated to be imposed in January. Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) believes a fiscal 2014 CR that runs until Nov. 15 — rather than Dec. 15 as the House measure calls for — would increase pressure on lawmakers to complete an omnibus spending bill by the end of the calendar year that includes individual full-year appropriations bills and language to undo the sequester for two years …

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