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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Defense Hawks Frustrated over Lack of Attention to Sequester

  • October 2, 2013
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Two years after Congress passed the Budget Control Act that put the federal government on the path to sequestration, congressional advocates for the military and defense lobbyists have made no progress in heading off $500 billion in automatic defense cuts, leading many to acknowledge that the deep spending reductions are here to stay. The lack of momentum to reverse the automatic spending cuts has been underscored in recent weeks by the clash over passing a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR), which has hinged on Obamacare rather than overall spending levels or the deleterious consequences of slashing the Pentagon’s budget by $52 billion this year …

As Stalemate Lingers, Budget Dispute Could Encompass Debt-Ceiling Extension

  • October 2, 2013
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Hopes that a White House meeting on Wednesday between President Obama and congressional leaders could break the impasse over a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution were dashed after a one-and-a-half-hour discussion ended with no visible progress on the second day of the government shutdown. After the meeting, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters that the president reiterated that he would not negotiate over demands to dismantle his signature health care law, and House and Senate leaders were no closer to finding a solution to reopen the government …

Military Pay Legislation Could Help DOD Limit Furloughs, McKeon Says

  • October 1, 2013
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel should take advantage of the military pay law President Obama signed Monday to reduce the number of civilian workers placed on furlough during the government shutdown, House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said Tuesday. In addition to requiring the government to pay members of the armed services on active duty, including Coast Guard personnel and reserve components, during a shutdown, the law requires civilian employees and contractors whose work supports active-duty troops to be paid …

Schools Remain Open for Military Children, but Commissaries to Close

  • October 1, 2013
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The government shutdown will have a varying impacts on services provided to military personnel, with schools run by the DOD Education Activity for military children remaining open while military commissaries will be forced to shut their doors. School personnel are exempt from the emergency furloughs imposed on about half of the Pentagon’s civilian workers as a result of the shutdown that began Tuesday. Schools will operate on a normal schedule and scheduled student activities will continue …

House Strategies to End Shutdown Rebuffed by Senate

  • October 1, 2013
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House Republicans on Tuesday failed to pass the chamber’s latest iteration to restore funding for at least some agencies, when separate resolutions to provide stopgap funding for the Veterans Affairs Department and the National Park Service and one to permit the D.C. government to continue operating failed to obtain a two-thirds majority. The three bills likely could pass today when Republican leaders plan to bring them back under regular rules so they can be passed by a simple majority. But Senate Democrats said the move is futile and would be rejected in that chamber …

House, Senate Agree to Pay Service Members during Shutdown

  • September 30, 2013
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Amid a partisan faceoff over legislation needed to keep the government open, House and Senate lawmakers approved a measure to ensure that service members and some DOD civilians get paid if the government shuts down starting today. The House passed the measure over the weekend by a 423-0 vote, while the Senate cleared it Monday by unanimous consent, sending it to President Obama for his signature. The bill would provide funds to pay members of the armed services on active duty, including Coast Guard personnel and reserve components, during a shutdown …

Pentagon to Apportion FY’14 Spending More Carefully

  • September 30, 2013
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Defense officials will take into account the strong likelihood that sequestration will be imposed once again in fiscal 2014 when they allot funds in the first several months of the fiscal year, a move intended to avoid the sharp cutbacks in operation and maintenance spending the department was forced to carry out over the last six months. “I think this time we will start operating at a somewhat lower level than … than certainly than the president’s request,” DOD Comptroller Robert Hale told reporters last week …

Length of Shutdown Would Determine Impact on Contractor Workforce

  • September 30, 2013
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A government shutdown, scheduled to begin Tuesday if Congress fails to pass a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution, would be “disruptive and stupid,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday. Carter underscored that a shutdown would be “extremely disruptive and unfortunate” as about half of the department’s civilian personnel would be placed on no duty-no pay furloughs after they already had been furloughed for more than a week earlier this year …

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 …

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