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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Virginia Lawmakers Urge Pentagon to Relocate AFRICOM to Hampton Roads

  • September 16, 2013
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Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Timothy Kaine last week asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to reconsider a January decision to keep U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report criticized the department’s decision. “Hampton Roads represents one of the largest concentrations of joint and service-unique military commands in the United States,” the two Democratic lawmakers wrote, reported the Virginian-Pilot. “The region offers joint installations, command-and-control resources, training and education facilities that could superbly support AFRICOM’s mission …

Winnefeld Chastises Congress for Blocking New BRAC Round

  • September 16, 2013
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Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld last week sharpened the Pentagon’s argument for a new BRAC round by pointing out that only a small part of the cost to implement the 2005 round went toward closing bases. “Were you aware that, contrary to the popular narrative, the closure part of the 2005 BRAC only cost us $6 billion and is now saving us almost $4 billion per year, and we need new closures desperately?” he said during an event hosted by the Association of the United States Army …

Pentagon Resigned to Operating with a Continuing Resolution

  • September 15, 2013
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Defense officials are preparing to enter the new fiscal year without a clear picture of how much funding Congress will provide them, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters Friday. “We’re working closely with the Office of Management and Budget to determine what our requirements might be going into [FY 2014],” Little said. Congressional leaders are trying to move a continuing resolution to keep the government running for the first several months of FY 2014, but have not yet settled on a strategy to do so …

Democrats Intend to Keep Fights over CR, Debt Ceiling Separate

  • September 15, 2013
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Senate Democrats think they can fend off an attempt by House Republicans to couple battles over avoiding a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year and extending the nation’s debt limit. Republican lawmakers in the House believe that combining the two disputes into one negotiation will maximize their leverage to extract concessions to reduce the federal deficit and, possibly, slow implementation of the Affordable Care Act …

Upcoming 360 Webcast: What’s Next for the Defense Budget … in 2014 and the Coming Decade?

  • September 12, 2013
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Over the next several months, lawmakers face multiple do-or-die deadlines — agreeing on a short-term measure to keep the government open after the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 and preventing the Treasury from running out of money when the nation reaches its debt limit. But with little likelihood that lawmakers will reach a grand bargain to reverse sequestration, defense communities are facing further uncertainty about the budget and bracing for drastic reductions in civilian and military personnel, possible mission consolidations and other changes affecting installations …

Next Move by House Leaders on CR Not Clear

  • September 12, 2013
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Negotiations to keep the government running beyond Sept. 30 could go down to the wire as House Republican leaders seem stuck on coming up with a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) that will appeal to party conservatives. Since Republican leaders on Wednesday pulled their proposal to fund the government through Dec. 15, it’s not clear whether they will present a new plan next week or try to bring conservatives on board to the existing one …

Senate Action on Authorization Bill May Wait until December, Levin Says

  • September 11, 2013
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Expect a repeat of recent years when it comes to Senate consideration of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, with debate likely being pushed back until the end of the year, according to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee. “It will probably end up being a lot closer to the end of the session than I’d like,” Levin told reporters Wednesday …

Levin Opposes Linking Syria Vote to Pentagon Exemption from Sequester

  • September 11, 2013
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Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, rejected a proposal by two leading Republicans to link a vote authorizing the use of military force against Syria for an exemption from sequestration for the Pentagon. “It either makes sense — and I believe it does, to take military action to accomplish the goals of the resolution authorizing military force in Syria — it either makes sense in terms of our national security or it doesn’t …

House Leaders Forced to Postpone CR Vote

  • September 11, 2013
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House Republican leaders on Wednesday delayed a vote on a fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (CR) amid an intraparty rift over how hard to fight to withhold funding from the president’s signature health care law. The party leadership had scheduled a Thursday vote on a stopgap spending proposal to keep the government open through Dec. 15, but later decided it needed more time following an outcry from conservatives over a legislative maneuver to force a Senate vote on the Affordable Care Act …

Defense Policy Bill Debate Pushed Back Further in Senate

  • September 10, 2013
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The Senate is not expected to take up the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill until late October at the earliest, according to congressional staff. The need to pass a short-term continuing resolution and extend the nation’s debt limit — and debate a resolution authorizing military action in Syria — is forcing Senate debate over the annual defense policy bill to wait until after the Columbus Day recess, which ends Oct. 18, reported CQ. House and Senate staff have not yet begun to hash out compromise language for non-controversial parts of the authorization bill since the debate is expected to have a significant impact on the final version of the measure.

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