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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Levin Urges Bipartisan Cooperation to Ready Authorization Bill for Debate

  • June 11, 2014
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In an effort to avoid a repeat of last year when the Senate lost its opportunity to debate the defense authorization bill, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, took to the chamber floor Wednesday with an appeal to colleagues to help committee leadership prepare the fiscal 2015 authorization bill to go to the floor. Levin urged lawmakers to file their amendments to the annual policy bill before the July recess so the committee can identify those likely to require time for debate. The committee approved the bill last month …

Cantor Defeat Likely a Setback for Defense Industry

  • June 11, 2014
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Tuesday’s stunning primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) removes the defense industry’s most reliable supporter from the chamber’s leadership, according to experts. More significantly for defense communities, it raises the chances that an emboldened tea party succeeds in pushing for additional spending reductions or, at a minimum, quashes any future budget deals from reversing sequestration cuts beyond fiscal 2015 …

House, Senate Policy Bills Offer Competing Plans for Reorganizing Top Installations Post

  • June 11, 2014
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Depending on how the issue is settled during House-Senate negotiations over the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, the Pentagon’s top installations and environment position could remain in place but with a new title, or it could be merged with the department’s operational energy chief post. The Senate version of the annual defense policy bill, approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee last month, adopts DOD’s reorganization plan, which calls for merging the positions of deputy undersecretary of defense (DUSD) for installations and environment with the assistant secretary of defense (ASD) for operational energy plans and programs …

Is Army Lodging Program Increasing Its Vulnerability to Security Threats, Committee Asks

  • June 10, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee directs DOD and the Army to review their policies regarding base access for persons using privatized lodging facilities to ensure that installations are not exposed to unnecessary security threats, according to the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill passed last month. The committee said it supports the Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) program but remains concerned that “some PAL hotels, in the interest of improving occupancy rates, may have provided lodging to persons who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the installation …

Senate Panel Requests Details on Army Process for Making End Strength Reductions

  • June 10, 2014
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With the Army undergoing an effort to determine which installations will lose brigade combat teams (BCTs) as it plans to trim its active-duty end strength below 490,000, the Senate Armed Services Committee is directing the service to describe the decision-making processes and analytical methodologies it will employ. The Army has said it will need to eliminate an additional 40,000 troops to reach an end strength of 450,000 by fiscal 2017 to meet Budget Control Act spending caps …

Panel Rejects Amendment to Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • June 10, 2014
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The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted down an amendment to reallocate Air Force funds to keep the A-10 close air support aircraft flying next year, making it the first congressional panel to support the Air Force’s plan to retire the fleet. The committee rejected the amendment from Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) by a 23-13 vote before approving the underlying fiscal 2015 defense spending measure by voice vote. Last month, versions of the FY 2015 defense authorization bill approved by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee both called for funding to keep the A-10 “Warthog” in the air …

Congress Likely to Resist Attempts to Close Bases outside of BRAC, House Staffer Says

  • June 9, 2014
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Congress most likely would oppose an attempt by the Pentagon to use its authority to close an installation outside of a BRAC round, a staff member for the House Armed Services Committee said last week at the Defense Communities National Summit. If the department tried to use section 2687, there would be “pushback” from lawmakers, Dave Sienicki, a professional staff member on the majority side of HASC, told attendees. Congress has “blunt weapons” to employ and likely would lower the workforce thresholds in the statute …

Power Purchase Agreements Could Support Regional Projects, Committee Suggests

  • June 9, 2014
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The Defense Department should build on its use of power purchase agreements (PPAs) at individual installations and consider regional initiatives, according to the report of the Senate Armed Services Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill that it passed last month. “Like housing privatization, regional or portfolio approaches in a contract that will provide energy to more than one military installation may offer the potential for greater savings and best value …

DOD to Review Services Acquisition Process, Official Says

  • June 8, 2014
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The Pentagon’s process for acquiring weapons systems garners a lot of attention, but DOD’s procurement of services soon will undergo scrutiny as well. “We spend $360 billion a year to acquire things and services, and services is about $180 billion of that spend,” Alan Estevez, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told attendees last week at the Defense Communities National Summit. DOD has developed a highly structured process for buying aircraft, satellites and other equipment, but services procurement so far has eluded having a highly regulated system imposed on it …

Senate Appropriators Question whether European Basing Study Will Generate Savings

  • June 8, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee is concerned that any monetary savings generated by DOD’s effort to consolidate its European footprint could be offset by large expenditures on military construction in an echo of the lesson most lawmakers have drawn from the last round of base closures. In the report accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill it passed last month, the panel questions the department’s intention to build a joint intelligence analysis center at Royal Air Force Base Croughton in the United Kingdom estimated to cost in excess of $300 million. The department asks for $92.2 million in its FY 2015 budget request for the project’s first phase …

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