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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Bipartisan Measure Would Give DOD Flexibility to Cope with Automatic Cuts

  • August 1, 2013
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A House proposal, supported by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would give defense officials flexibility to manage the hundreds of billions of dollars in sequester cuts slated to hit the department over the next eight years. The bill, sponsored by Ryan and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), is intended to help the Pentagon mitigate the impact of $450 billion in further spending cuts scheduled to take effect through fiscal 2021 by providing budget officials new transfer authority, within limits …

Carter Memo Details Scope of Headquarters Spending Cuts

  • August 1, 2013
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The 20 percent reduction in DOD management headquarters spending first announced by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month would apply to all higher headquarters staffs, according to a memo issued by Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The cuts will apply to the office of the secretary of defense principal staff assistants and their associated defense agency staffs, the Joint Staff, service secretary staffs, service chief staffs, service four-star major commands and service component commands, lower-level service staffs down to the level determined by service secretaries and chiefs, and combatant command staffs …

Appropriations Process Grinds to a Halt on Capitol Hill

  • August 1, 2013
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Setbacks in both the House and Senate this week to take up the fiscal 2014 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development spending bill likely spell the end of the regular appropriations process this year, leaving a short-term continuing resolution (CR) as Congress’ best bet for keeping the government open past Sept. 30. In the House, Republican leaders abruptly pulled the transportation spending measure off the floor after debate had started over concerns that they did not have the necessary votes to pass it …

No Decisions on Budget Cuts Have Been Made, Winnefeld Says

  • August 1, 2013
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One day after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel painted a grim portrait of the consequences if sequestration continues for the next eight years, Navy Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reminded lawmakers that officials have not yet made any decisions about possible changes to the military’s force structure. “No decisions have been made because they cannot yet be made, because we don’t know how much money we’re going to have …

U.S., Japan Leaders Urge Progress on Marine Corps Realignment to Guam

  • August 1, 2013
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Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Japanese Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Defense Akinori Eto this week agreed to make steady progress on the realignment of U.S. Forces Japan, including the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, and of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa. In a meeting at the Pentagon, Carter also emphasized the steadfast nature of the U.S. commitment to the Asia-Pacific rebalance, and noted the significant role of the U.S.-Japan alliance in maintaining regional security and stability, reported American Forces Press Service. They also discussed progress being made with respect to the joint strike fighter program and agreed to stay in close touch to build upon the strong bilateral relationship between their two countries, according to the story.

Senate Committee Approves Property Disposal Legislation

  • July 31, 2013
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The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved a measure intended to streamline the process for federal agencies to eliminate thousands of unneeded buildings and facilities. The 2013 Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act establishes a pilot program to dispose of up to 200 properties each year, with priority going to those with the highest value …

Senate to Consider Measures after Recess to Cancel Sequestration

  • July 31, 2013
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With a bipartisan agreement to replace sequester cuts in fiscal 2014 still not on the horizon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday he planned to hold a number of floor votes in September on proposals to replace the automatic spending cuts. It’s not yet clear what Democrats plan to offer in turn for cancelling up to $1 trillion in discretionary spending reductions over the next eight years. Of course, a less ambitious plan may be more likely as the Sept. 30 deadline for funding government operations in the new year approaches …

Committee Leaders Troubled by Budget Scenarios

  • July 31, 2013
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Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said there are “a lot of bad options” for DOD, after attending a briefing on the results of the department’s review of ways to deal with sequestration. Levin said he hopes the Strategic Choices and Management Review will spur lawmakers to reach agreement to reverse spending caps that will force the Pentagon to pare $52 billion from its fiscal 2014 budget. “We’ve got additional ammunition if we needed it, but [there is] plenty existing already …

Worst Case Fiscal Scenario Would Force Further End Strength Cuts, Hagel Says

  • July 31, 2013
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday outlines a series of scenarios for dramatically cutting the size of the nation’s ground forces, along with further reductions in overhead at headquarters, that constituted the Pentagon’s first serious attempt to grapple with the possible need to eliminate up to $1 trillion in defense spending through fiscal 2021. Hagel’s presentation was the first public release of the results of the Strategic Choices and Management Review intended to help the department cope with the unprecedented budget uncertainty stemming from sequestration. Perhaps the most striking conclusion of the assessment, Hagel noted, was that even if officials implement the full complement of reductions to force structure, modernization programs, management and overhead, and compensation and benefits identified in the review, the savings still would fall short of meeting the required sequester cuts in the early years of implementation …

Committee Endorses Nomination of Navy Installations Chief

  • July 30, 2013
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Dennis McGinn moved one step closer to being confirmed as the Navy’s assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment, after his nomination was approved Tuesday by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The nomination of McGinn, outgoing president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy, now goes to the full Senate. It is not clear whether a confirmation vote will take place before lawmakers leave Washington at the end of the week for their August recess …

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