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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

DOD Spending Plan Faces High Hurdles on the Way to Congressional Acceptance

  • March 4, 2014
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Based on the reaction of both Republicans and Democrats to last week’s preview of the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request, the administration’s spending plan almost certainly will not be approved without significant changes to its recommendations, particularly those calling for cuts to the Army’s active-duty and reserve forces, adjustments to service members’ benefits and retirement of the A-10 aircraft fleet. “There’s a clear sentiment on both sides, both Republicans and Democrats, on the Armed Services Committee that these cuts are too draconian,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ….

Service Members Will Miss Commissary Benefit, Senior Enlisted Advisers Say

  • March 2, 2014
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Trimming the commissary benefit as part of an effort to lower defense spending would harm service members, the military’s top enlisted members told lawmakers last week. “I personally think it’s ridiculous that we’re going after something that saves a young lance corporal $4,500 a year,” Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett told the House Appropriations’ Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee …

50 Governors Sign Letter Protesting Planned Cuts to Army National Guard

  • March 2, 2014
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The nation’s 50 governors on Friday sent a letter to President Obama opposing planned cuts to the Army National Guard included in the Army’s soon-to-be-released fiscal 2015 budget request. “We respectfully request that you reconsider proposed cuts to the Army National Guard and changes to the Guard’s combat aviation capabilities and that you work with us to fashion solutions that provide a scalable, cost-effective force that best serves the interests of our nation …

Sequestration Is Here to Stay, HASC Minority Leader Says

  • March 2, 2014
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Automatic spending cuts slated to be imposed on the defense budget through fiscal 2021 most likely will remain in place, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said in an interview aired Sunday. “If you had to bet, you’d bet that sequestration is going to stick around,” Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, told “Defense News with Vago Muradian.” The congressman’s remarks, which echo comments made by Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), come as many lawmakers last week decried the cuts in force structure and military benefits included in the Pentagon’s latest five-year spending plan …

FY’15 Budget Won’t Include Detailed Plan for Addressing Sequestration Long-Term

  • February 27, 2014
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Defense officials have prepared a detailed plan for complying with the sequester caps in fiscal 2016 and beyond, but it will not be part of the department’s FY 2015 budget submission next week. Instead, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday when he unveiled the Pentagon’s latest five-year spending plan, officials will submit a budget that exceeds the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps by $115 billion through FY 2019. The department’s FY 2015 budget request for $496 billion, though, adheres to the spending cap in last December’s bipartisan budget agreement …

Republican Defense Leaders Reject Talk of Reversing Spending Cuts

  • February 27, 2014
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Pentagon officials’ hopes for securing relief from caps on defense spending in fiscal 2015 and beyond stand no chance of being realized, Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.) and Rep. Buck McKeon (Calif.) told reporters Thursday. In addition to rebuffing prospects for providing relief from sequester cuts scheduled to constrain defense spending through FY 2021, the top defense policy Republicans in Congress rejected the notion that lawmakers would agree to raise sufficient revenue in FY 2015 to pay for a $26 billion investment fund President Obama will propose as part of next year’s budget request …

BRAC Round Would Allow DOD to Downsize Civilian Workforce, Official Says

  • February 26, 2014
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The Defense Department has trimmed its civilian and contractor workforce as part an initiative to streamline its headquarters, but a significant reduction in the number of its civilian workers will require a new round of base closures, Acting Deputy Secretary Christine Fox said Tuesday. This year officials cut operating costs by 20 percent at headquarters offices across all services, agencies and combatant commands, saving about $5 billion. Much of the civilian workforce is employed outside Washington at installations, depots and shipyards, though, Fox said …

DOD’s Latest Spending Plan Could Spur Efforts for Further Sequestration Relief

  • February 26, 2014
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Defense hawks’ aversion to the cuts in force structure and military benefits outlined this week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel could prompt renewed discussions in Congress to reverse deep spending cuts scheduled to take effect between fiscal 2016 and 2021. “The first thing we’ve got to do is drive a stake in the heart of [Hagel's] ill-conceived and ill-designed proposal, and that means freeing up money” for defense spending, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said of the five-year spending plan unveiled Monday. “That means we need to get BCA [2011 Budget Control Act] relief or rearrange the pie …

Ayotte Presses Nominee on DOD’s Intentions to Address Excess Capacity outside of BRAC

  • February 26, 2014
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New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) focused on the Defense Department’s plans for reducing its infrastructure in the event Congress rejects its latest request for additional base closures, during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for Robert Work for deputy defense secretary. During the Armed Services Committee hearing, Ayotte asked the nominee to clarify remarks Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel offered Monday during a preview of the department’s five-year spending plan. After noting that lawmakers rejected DOD’s BRAC requests in each of the last two years, Hagel said that “if Congress continues to block these requests even as they slash the overall budget, we will have to consider every tool at our disposal to reduce infrastructure …

McCain Places Hold on Deputy Secretary Nominee

  • February 25, 2014
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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has placed a hold on Robert Work, President Obama’s nominee for deputy defense secretary, after he characterized the Navy’s littoral combat ship program as being “on solid ground” during his confirmation hearing Tuesday. “I think this is very normal with Navy ship building,” Work said of a program that would be cut from 52 ships to 32 under the five-year budget proposal Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled the previous day …

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