image description

Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Senate Blocks Attempt to Restrict Use of OCO Funds

  • June 10, 2015
  • comments: 0

In the most significant policy battle the Senate expects to face as it debates the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, the chamber on Tuesday rejected a Democratic effort to stop lawmakers from authorizing the use of tens of billions of dollars in extra war funds to sidestep the statutory spending caps in a 46-51 vote. Following the vote, it’s not clear whether Senate Democrats will try to block the annual policy bill, S. 1376, from advancing in the chamber. Afterwards, Democrats vowed to stop the GOP from going ahead with its strategy to offer the Pentagon budget relief while ignoring domestic agencies by blocking progress on spending bills …

Democrats’ Shutdown Talk Intended to Force GOP’s Hand

  • June 9, 2015
  • comments: 0

An increasing number of senior Democratic lawmakers have been warning that the federal government is headed toward another shutdown when the new fiscal year begins as a result of the brewing dispute over fiscal 2016 spending. “We’re now kind of paddling down this river serenely when we all know there is this huge waterfall ahead. And if our Republican colleagues want to keep quietly paddling toward a government shutdown, that’s their choice,” Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), ranking member on the House Budget Committee, said last week. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), ranking member on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, noted the similarities with the issues surrounding appropriations in FY 2014 when a partisan dispute resulted in a 16-day shutdown. “While not a mirror image of two years ago, the FY 2016 process is careening towards a similar fate …

McHugh to Step Down as Army Secretary by November

  • June 9, 2015
  • comments: 0

Army Secretary John McHugh, who has served in the post since the outset of the Obama administration, will step down by Nov. 1, the Defense Department announced Monday. “Secretary McHugh has been a tremendous public servant for decades, and he has helped lead the Army through a period of challenge and change,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a written statement. “There will be much time in the coming months to appropriately celebrate his many accomplishments, but for now I will just say that every soldier is better off because of his hard work and vision, and so is the country,” Carter said. McHugh expressed his desire several weeks ago to depart as secretary. He resigned from Congress in September 2009 to join the Obama administration. McHugh, a Republican, spent 16 years in Congress serving a sprawling congressional district that included Northern and Central New York and Fort Drum. He served on the House Armed Services Committee and became the ranking member, reported the Hill.

‘We’ll Get There,’ Carter Says about a New BRAC Round

  • June 8, 2015
  • comments: 0

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter vowed to continue pursuing another BRAC round until Congress relents, during remarks Thursday at a town hall event in Stuttgart, Germany. “It must be done,” Carter told troops from Africa Command, reported Military.com. “We can’t let tail and not tooth eat our budget. And so where we have unneeded infrastructure, and BRAC obviously pertains to unneeded infrastructure in the United States, we’ve got to get after that,” he said. “I am in an ongoing argument essentially with the Congress over this necessity,” Carter explained. This year’s request by President Obama to hold a BRAC round in 2017 represents the fourth consecutive year the administration has asked Congress to approve one or more base closure rounds. “But we’re going to keep trying. And I think at some point we’ll get there,” Carter said.

White House Press Secretary Indicates There Is Room for a Budget Deal

  • June 7, 2015
  • comments: 0

The White House would not insist on a tax hike to offset any budget relief offered as part of a prospective deal to relax the Budget Control Act spending caps, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday. Earnest noted that the December 2013 Ryan-Murray agreement — which provided DOD a total of $31 billion in spending above the caps in FY 2014 and 2015 — did not include a tax hike when he was asked about not insisting on a tax increase as a prerequisite for a budget deal. “What we have said is that that is the model that should be pursued,” he said, reported CQ Roll Call. The 2013 agreement did include some fees, however …

Senate Debate on Authorization Bill Marked by Quarrel over Budget Caps

  • June 5, 2015
  • comments: 0

The possibility that Senate Democrats may filibuster the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill loomed over a debate Thursday stuck on the dispute over the measure’s heavy reliance on DOD’s war account to sidestep stringent spending caps. While some Democrats have indicated they will try to stop appropriations measures from advancing in the Senate, they have not yet settled on a strategy for the annual defense policy bill, reported CQ Roll Call. The authorization bill employs the House-Senate budget framework that adds $38 billion to the department’s overseas contingency operations account, which is exempt from the caps, to meet the Pentagon’s base budget request …

Administration Criticizes Senate Bill for Pursuing Privatization of Commissaries

  • June 4, 2015
  • comments: 0

The White House this week said it opposes provisions in the Senate’s draft of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would test the feasibility of privatizing military grocery stores. The bill, S. 1376, calls for the Defense Department to develop a plan to privatize the Defense Commissary Agency, wholly or in part. It also directs the Governmental Accountability Office to assess the potential costs and benefits of privatizing the entire network of commissaries and determining whether any barriers exist to privatizing the commissary system. Following the GAO study, DOD would be required to privatize at least five commissaries under a two-year pilot program to evaluate the feasibility of its privatization plan. The White House, though, is critical of the Senate proposal …

Senate Passes Provision to Fortify Reserve Airlift Unit at Ft. Bragg

  • June 4, 2015
  • comments: 0

Lawmakers debating the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill in the Senate Thursday passed an amendment that would not only stop the Air Force from carrying out its plan to deactivate Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing, but also replace its C-130 transport aircraft with upgraded models. The amendment, introduced by North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R) and co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.), would relocate nine previously upgraded C-130H aircraft to Pope Field at Fort Bragg to directly support the daily training and contingency requirements of the XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and Army Special Operations Command. The nine aircraft would replace the six older C-130Hs now operated by the Air Force Reserve unit that are slated to be removed …

White House Objects to Language Mandating Personnel Cuts in Senate Bill

  • June 4, 2015
  • comments: 0

The Obama administration said it opposes a section in the Senate’s fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would streamline the Defense Department in an attempt to eliminate unnecessary overhead because it would force the Pentagon to impose “deep, across-the-board cuts.” The Senate measure, S. 1376, calls for reducing funding for headquarters and administrative functions for military services, defense agencies, combatant commands, the office of the secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff by 7.5 percent for four years, totaling 30 percent by the fourth year. The cuts would yield $1.7 billion in savings in FY 2016 and recurring savings of $6.8 billion per year by the fourth year. The savings would be funneled to operations and readiness, according to the Senate Armed Services Committee …

Battle Lines Drawn over Commissary Funding

  • June 4, 2015
  • comments: 0

The fiscal 2016 defense spending bill approved Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee would restore $322 million DOD had proposed to cut from the Defense Commissary Agency’s budget as an initial step to scaling back the federal subsidy for military grocery stores. The cuts would force U.S. commissaries to be operated more like a business, forcing them to reduce customer discounts, as well as trim staff, store hours and the days stores are open. The Senate Armed Services Committee, however, adopted the department’s proposal to slash funding for commissaries in its draft FY 2016 defense authorization bill, raising the chances that the two chambers will need to find a compromise when they hash out next year’s defense budget …

Page 6 of 220...234567891011...203040...
Array ( )