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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

President Nominates Walmart Official for Air Force Installations Post

  • February 2, 2014
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President Obama last week nominated Miranda Ballentine, a top sustainability and renewable energy official for Wal-Mart Stores, to become assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics, continuing the administration’s preference to select individuals with a background in energy to lead each service’s installations office. Kathleen Ferguson has been the acting assistant secretary since last March when Terry Yonkers stepped down. Ballentine has been the director of sustainability, renewable energy, sustainable facilities and stakeholder engagement for Wal-Mart Stores since 2008. Previously, she was vice president of investor analysis, chief operating officer and senior consultant for David Gardiner and Associates, according to a White House press release. In 2004, she served as the director of operations, assistant treasurer, and a board member for Environment2004. Ballentine was the operations director for the Solar Electric Light Fund from 2001 to 2004.

Virginia Lawmakers Urge Air Force to Reconsider Moving Science Office to Ohio

  • January 30, 2014
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Three Virginia lawmakers are questioning the Air Force’s plans to relocate its Office of Scientific Research from its current site in Arlington, Va., to Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. Sens. Tim Kaine (D) and Mark Warner (D), and Rep. Jim Moran (D) argue that the office’s existing location — close to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation — is too valuable to abandon …

HASC Lawmakers Urge DOD to Retain Carriers

  • January 28, 2014
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A bipartisan group of 11 House Armed Services Committee lawmakers wrote Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Tuesday urging the Pentagon not to retire any of the Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers as part of its fiscal 2015 budget request. “There is no doubt that there is enduring bipartisan support for a robust Navy supporting a capital fleet of 11 nuclear aircraft carriers,” stated the letter headed up by Seapower Subcommittee Chairman Randy Forbes (R-Va.). Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) also signed the letter. The letter was written after Defense News reported this week that DOD officials are considering whether to eliminate one carrier and one carrier air wing in the 2015 budget, reported the Hill.

Appropriations Panels May Hash Out Spending Allocations at Outset

  • January 28, 2014
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The leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations committees are considering reaching agreement on the spending levels for the 12 annual spending measures prior to drafting and marking up the bills, a step that likely would speed up the appropriations process. A decision to “pre-conference” the spending levels for each appropriations bill would be relatively simple since the topline discretionary spending figure for fiscal 2015 was established in last month’s bipartisan budget deal …

Ayotte Warns Air Force against Making Preparations to Retire A-10s

  • January 27, 2014
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Efforts by the Air Force to prepare to retire its A-10 fleet would violate the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) wrote Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James last week. “It has come to my attention that the Air Force may be taking steps to prepare to retire the A-10 in violation of current law,” Ayotte wrote in a letter Friday, reported the Hill. The FY 2014 defense policy bill states that the service “may not retire, prepare to retire or place in storage” any additional A-10 Warthogs during the fiscal year …

Relocation of Army Units Restricted under Omnibus

  • January 26, 2014
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The Army is restricted from relocating units from installations with a significant proportion of civilian employees, according to the omnibus spending bill signed into law earlier this month. The military construction section of the legislation bars the Army from using fiscal 2014 funds to relocate a unit at an installation in which the total number of civilian employees of the Army and contractor personnel exceeds 10 percent of the total number of members of the Army’s regular and reserve components assigned to the installation …

Long-Term DOD Budget Would Ignore Sequester Spending Caps

  • January 26, 2014
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The White House draft of the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request allows defense spending to exceed the caps included in the 2011 Budget Control Act starting in FY 2016, reports Bloomberg. The topline spending level for the department in FY 2015 — not including war spending, military construction or Energy Department programs — is about $498 billion as called for under last month’s bipartisan budget deal. That deal reversed $9 billion in FY 2015 sequester cuts …

Omnibus Retains Restriction on Underutilized Facilities

  • January 23, 2014
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The Defense Department is barred from spending fiscal 2014 funds maintaining facilities it no longer uses, according to the omnibus spending bill signed into law last week. The language — originally added on the House floor last July to that chamber’s version of the defense spending bill — is intended to eliminate wasteful spending by the department and is not targeted at installations closed through BRAC …

Defense Committees Take on New Leadership

  • January 23, 2014
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Retirements at the end of the year by the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, along with the recent deaths of two long-time appropriators, are resulting in a rapid turnover of the leadership of four defense panels. The retirement announcement last week from Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of House Armed Services, follows the earlier retirement announcement from Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.). As a result, both committees will have new leaders in the 114th Congress …

White House to Release FY’15 Budget in Early March

  • January 23, 2014
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The White House has settled on March 4 as the date it will submit the fiscal 2015 budget request to Congress, a one-month delay caused by lawmakers’ failure to complete work on the FY 2014 budget before last week. The Office of Management and Budget began doing “passbacks” this week, the process in which the White House delivers its response to agencies’ draft budgets, reported CQ. Passbacks typically are followed by one or more rounds of negotiations …

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