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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

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 …

Pentagon Prepares Employees for Potential Shutdown

  • September 23, 2013
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With a government shutdown looming in one week, the Pentagon sent a memo Monday to all employees telling them what to expect if Congress fails to pass a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution to allow the government to operate beyond Sept. 30. The memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter explained what government activities would cease. “While military personnel would continue in a normal duty status, a large number of our civilian employees would be temporarily furloughed,” Carter said …

Reid Sets up Wednesday Vote on Motion Allowing CR Debate

  • September 23, 2013
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Senate Republicans are not expected to support a filibuster of the House-passed continuing resolution (CR), opening the way for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to invoke cloture, strip out the language blocking funding for the Affordable Care Act and clear the measure by Sept. 29 before sending it back to the House. On Monday, the Senate’s minority leader and minority whip said they would not filibuster the measure. Democrats need only six Republican votes to invoke cloture to proceed to the bill and later to end debate and proceed to final passage …

Republican Support May Exist in House for CR Compromise

  • September 22, 2013
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Some House Republicans may be willing to accept a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) shorn of language defunding the Affordable Care Act in order to avert a government shutdown. Following Friday’s vote by House Republicans to pass a CR that would keep the government running through Dec. 15 but also block funding for President Obama’s signature health care law, the immediate attention on Capitol Hill turns to the Senate …

Only Half of BRAC 2005 Recommendations Intended to Save Money

  • September 19, 2013
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In remarks delivered last week at an event hosted by the Association of the United States Army, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld took Congress to task for rejecting many of the Pentagon’s cost-cutting initiatives, including carrying out a new base closure round. In trying to counter one of lawmakers’ most popular arguments against another BRAC, he pointed out that only a small part of the much-criticized, one-time, $35 billion cost to implement the 2005 round went toward closing bases …

Marines Plan East Coast Headquarters Consolidation, Senior Planning Officer Says

  • September 19, 2013
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As part of its effort to meet the fiscal constraints imposed under sequestration, the Marine Corps is planning to eliminate a three-star expeditionary force headquarters command in Camp Lejeune, N.C., and consolidate it into one East Coast headquarters in Norfolk, Va. The new command would complement an expeditionary task force headquarters in Okinawa, Japan, and one based in Camp Pendleton, Calif., that is deployable anywhere, Maj. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. said Thursday …

Reid Has Options to Strip Defunding Provision from CR

  • September 19, 2013
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has vowed to strip language blocking funding from the Affordable Care Act from the House version of a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR), but has not said what legislative procedures he’ll employ to accomplish that. Democrat senators are somewhat confident they will be able to pick up the six Republican votes needed to invoke cloture to proceed to the bill and later to end debate and proceed to final passage …

OMB Directs Agencies to Prepare Shutdown Plans

  • September 19, 2013
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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has directed agencies to update their contingency plans in case Congress fails to pass a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution needed to keep the government open after Sept. 30. In a memo, Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said “prudent management” requires agencies to update their plans for operating without an appropriation, reported Government Executive. The fiscal year ends in 11 days, so there still is adequate opportunity for lawmakers to elude a shutdown. “There is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations, and the administration is willing to work with Congress to enact a short-term continuing resolution to fund critical government operations and allow Congress the time to complete the full year 2014 appropriations,” Burwell stated.

Continued Sequester Cuts Would Further Debilitate Readiness, Force Structure, Chiefs Testify

  • September 18, 2013
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Before a House Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday, the services’ top military officers delivered a grim assessment of their ability to meet the armed forces’ defense strategy if automatic spending cuts remain in place. “If Congress does not act to mitigate the magnitude and speed of the reductions under the [deficit reduction law] with sequestration, the Army will not be able to fully execute the requirements of the 2012 defense strategic guidance …

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