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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Heitkamp, Isakson Launch Defense Communities Caucus in Senate

  • June 19, 2013
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Two senators have launched a bipartisan caucus they said will support “the unique needs of defense communities, which play a vital role in supporting the United States military.” Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) announced the new Defense Communities Caucus in a press release Wednesday, joining a similar caucus formed two years ago in the House …

Montana Lawmakers Ask if Veterans Employment Initiatives Are Effective

  • June 19, 2013
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Montana Sens. Max Baucus (D) and Jon Tester (D) have requested the departments of Labor and Veterans Affairs to demonstrate the effectiveness of programs designed to reduce veterans unemployment. The June 5 letter is a follow-up to concerns raised in a December 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office and later in a veterans jobs bill introduced by the senators in January. The report focused on six federal employment and training programs, which serve around 880,000 veterans at a cost of $1.2 billion …

Timing Uncertain for Senate to Debate Authorization Bill on Floor

  • June 18, 2013
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Debate on the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill may not take place on the Senate floor before Congress starts its August recess, Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said Tuesday. “I’m hoping obviously for July, but I’m not sure that’s realistic,” Levin told reporters. That would put off consideration of the bill until after Labor Day …

OEA Offering Planning Support to Communities, States Affected by DOD Cutbacks

  • June 18, 2013
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Communities and states affected by significant cutbacks in DOD spending, including impacts caused by reduced operations at contractor-operated defense facilities, can apply for community planning assistance from the Office of Economic Adjustment to help them respond. Eligible impacts, according to the June 17 Federal Register notice, include: a publicly announced planned major reduction in DOD spending; the closure or significantly reduced operations of a defense facility as the result of the merger, acquisition or consolidation of the defense contractor operating the defense facility; the cancellation or termination of a DOD contract; or the failure to proceed with an approved major weapon system program …

Milcon Funding Approved by Senate Panel Exceeds House Recommendation

  • June 18, 2013
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The Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee approved a fiscal 2014 spending measure on Tuesday that would provide $10.7 billion for military construction programs, a figure that falls between the Pentagon’s budget request and the recommendation passed by the House earlier this month. The panel approved the bill following a nine-minute markup that was notable primarily for protests from Republican members over the topline spending level Senate Democrats are planning to use as the basis for the 12 annual spending bills …

House Language Would Require DOD to Consider Community Support before Realigning Bases

  • June 18, 2013
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An amendment to the House’s fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill would require the Pentagon to consider the monetary value of services provided to an installation by its host community before making realignment or closure decisions. When making such decisions, the provision requires the secretary of defense to account for “the value of services, such as schools, libraries, and utilities, as well as land, structures, and access to infrastructure, such as airports and seaports, that are provided by the local community to the military installation and that result in cost savings for the armed forces …

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 …

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