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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Senate Leaders Move Closer to Fiscal Deal

  • October 15, 2013
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved closer Tuesday to a deal to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling, with a final plan possibly ready to be unveiled today. The chamber’s leaders had suspended talks for much of the day after Senate Republicans embraced a relatively similar proposal under consideration in the House. Republican leaders in that chamber, however, failed to gain support from their conference and the plan fell apart …

Frelinghuysen in Line to Replace Young on Defense Panel

  • October 14, 2013
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New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) appears to be the most likely successor to Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R) as head of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee after the 22-term Florida congressman retires at the end of 2014. Young is the last of a number of long-serving defense appropriators who have left Congress either through retirement or death, including Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), and Reps. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and Norm Dicks (D-Wash) …

Guard’s Military Technicians Earned Reprieve from Shutdown Furloughs

  • October 14, 2013
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Nearly all of the 40,000 dual-status military technicians employed by the National Guard returned to work last week after initially being furloughed, but the Guard and Reserves still are affected by the partial government shutdown. Monthly drills, unless they are needed to prepare for an overseas deployment, and the paychecks they earn have been cancelled, affecting nearly 400,000 Guard members, said Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, vice chief of the National Guard Bureau …

Momentum Builds toward Budget Deal in Senate

  • October 14, 2013
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Senate leaders expressed optimism Monday that a deal to reopen the government and extend the nation’s debt ceiling could be reached in the coming days, a quick change of events from the tone just one day earlier. Under the compromise plan leaders outlined, the Senate would pass a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open through Jan. 15 and legislation to extend the debt ceiling to early or mid-February. While Senate leaders indicated the framework for a bipartisan agreement had been worked out, many details remained in doubt …

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 …

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