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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Ash Carter, Pentagon’s No. 2 Official, to Step Down

  • October 10, 2013
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Ash Carter, who has served as deputy defense secretary for the past two years, will step down Dec. 4, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Thursday. Before becoming the Pentagon’s number No. 2, Carter was undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, giving him four and a half years of continuous service at the department …

95 Percent of Furloughed Civilians Back at Work, Hale Says

  • October 10, 2013
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More than 95 percent of DOD civilians placed on emergency furlough last week when the government shut down are back to work as a result of the Pay Our Military Act, which allows the department to pay civilian employees who support the armed forces, Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee Thursday. About 40,000 workers remain on furlough, with 35,000 of those employees of the Army Corps of Engineers. About 7,000 furloughed employees work on public affairs or legislative affairs …

White House, Republicans Attempt to Broker Deal

  • October 10, 2013
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President Obama and House Republicans did not reach an agreement to reopen the government and extend the nation’s debt ceiling following a White House meeting Thursday evening, but both sides said they would continue discussions into the night. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) came to the White House with an offer that would lift the debt ceiling for six weeks in exchange for an agreement to engage in negotiations on a longer-term budget deal, reported the Hill. The GOP’s proposal, however, did not call for an end to the partial government shutdown …

Guidance Regarding Contractor Payments during Shutdown Leaves Some Uncertainty

  • October 9, 2013
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Questions as to what activities are “excepted” during the partial government shutdown are addressed in recent guidance issued by the Defense Department and the Office of Management and Budget, but a certain amount of ambiguity remains, according to a new report issued by the Congressional Research Service. “Efforts to distinguish between, on the one hand, those activities that are sufficiently important for national security to warrant continuation during a lapse in appropriations, and, on the other hand, activities that do not directly support national security, involve difficult, and to some degree, arbitrary judgments …

Classified Briefing Needed to Clarify Impact of Sequestration for Full House, Forbes Says

  • October 9, 2013
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As Congress lurches toward possible negotiations over the budget, a group of 15 House Republicans led by Randy Forbes (Va.) is requesting a classified briefing for all House lawmakers from the military’s top officers to spell out the impact of $500 billion in further defense cuts on national security. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Forbes noted that the chamber’s Armed Services Committee has received multiple hearings outlining the harm to the nation’s military readiness caused by sequestration …

Top Republicans Propose Unlinking Obamacare Changes to Fiscal Milestones

  • October 9, 2013
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Two top House Republicans on Wednesday signaled an intention to abandon their effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act as a prerequisite for agreeing to reopen the government and extend the nation’s debt ceiling. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) wrote separate editorial columns that urged President Obama to negotiate an increase in the debt limit, primarily through reforms to entitlement programs. Neither column, however, mentioned Obama’s signature health care law as an item of discussion …

Armed Services Panels Begin Informal Discussions over Authorization Bill

  • October 8, 2013
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The House and Senate Armed Services Committees have begun preliminary discussions to hash out a compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill. With the Senate in recent years not debating its version of the annual policy bill until late in the year — as is the case this session — pre-conference talks between the staffs of the two panels have become routine, reported CQ. The purpose of the discussions is to address non-controversial issues so that the formal conference committee can focus on the most contentious matters …

Many DOD Activities Limited despite Return of Furloughed Workers

  • October 8, 2013
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This weekend’s decision by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to recall most civilian workers furloughed after the government shut down last week has allowed many activities to resume, but others remain suspended. During a meeting Monday among Hagel, service secretaries and service chiefs, for example, service leaders reported they are curtailing training for later deploying units because of the shutdown, according to a readout of the meeting. Training is an activity that already has been reduced due to sequestration, the officials noted …

House Plan for New Supercommittee Brings Shutdown No Closer to Resolution

  • October 8, 2013
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President Obama and congressional Democrats on Tuesday said they would oppose a House plan to create a bipartisan panel of lawmakers to negotiate a short-term measure to end the partial government shutdown and extend the nation’s debt ceiling, bringing the weeks-long dispute over funding the government into fiscal 2014 no closer to resolution. The plan approved by the House would establish a working group of 10 congressmen, including four Democrats chosen by the chamber’s minority leader, and 10 senators, with four Republicans selected by that chamber’s minority leader …

Recall of Civilian Workers Allows Commissaries to Reopen

  • October 7, 2013
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Military commissaries closed due to the government shutdown resumed normal operations Monday, although it may take up to five days to get the shelves fully stocked, according to the Defense Commissary Agency. Stores normally closed on Mondays will reopen on their next scheduled operating day. Reopening the military grocery stores restores a major benefit for service members and their families, as the discounts on food provide savings approaching 30 percent. On Saturday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that most defense civilians who had been furloughed following the government shutdown can return to work. Read the story in USA Today.

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