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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

All Federal Agencies Will Need to Trim Real Property, under New OMB Policy

  • March 25, 2015
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Federal agencies, including the Defense Department, will be required to craft plans to reduce their real property footprint over the next five years, under a memo the Office of Management and Budget is scheduled to issue today. The memo, titled “National Strategy for the Efficient Use of Real Property: Reducing the Federal Portfolio through Improved Space Utilization, Consolidation and Disposal,” is a follow-on to the agency’s “Freeze the Footprint” policy issued in 2013. For the Pentagon, the policy means reducing excess space without relying on a BRAC round to shed large chunks of its real estate portfolio …

Republican Moves Effectively Sidestep Defense Budget Caps

  • March 24, 2015
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The fiscal 2016 budget resolutions the House and Senate are poised to approve this week signal significant support among Republican lawmakers for spending plans that flout the Budget Control Act limits for DOD. On Monday, the House Rules Committee approved a special procedure allowing the House to take up competing budget resolutions, including an alternative to the blueprint passed last week in committee allowing national security spending to exceed the $523 billion statutory cap without any offset …

Possible Veto Threat Could Disrupt Appropriations Process

  • March 24, 2015
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President Obama’s vow last week not to sign any fiscal 2016 appropriations bills that adhere to the statutory spending caps likely is intended to prompt a deal with congressional Republicans that would relax the limits for defense and non-defense spending. Conversely, the president’s pledge may force an impasse that results in a series of continuing resolutions and, possibly, a government shutdown, reported CQ. “I will not, and I’ve been very clear,” Obama said of signing bills that follow the Budget Control Act limits …

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Fights for Permanent Earmark Ban

  • March 23, 2015
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An effort by Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey (R) to enact a permanent ban against earmarks has drawn only limited support, with many appropriators content to retain the GOP’s temporary ban. Toomey introduced a new version in January of an earlier proposal to create a point of order against legislation containing any earmarks. The measure has attracted 10 cosponsors, including Sens. Clair McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), reported CQ. Republicans have banned earmarks since 2011 through caucus rules that have been renewed in each Congress, while Democrats have adopted a voluntary earmark ban …

Senate Budget Panel Approves 2016 Plan with Added Defense Funding

  • March 22, 2015
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The Senate Budget Committee on Thursday raised a special war funding account for defense to $89 billion next year …

DOD Should Consider Trimming Civilian Workforce to Generate Savings, Defense Analysts Say

  • March 22, 2015
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One area the Pentagon should target to slash spending is its civilian workforce, four defense analysts said March 16 at a Cato Institute forum. The number of civilian workers has grown since 2009, even as the size of the armed forces has been shrinking, said Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. The Pentagon has not kept good records of the number of civilian workers it has, Eaglen pointed out, making it difficult to craft plans to roll back the size of the workforce. Conducting a round of base closures would be another way to find budget savings, the experts said …

Battle Lines Drawn Over Defense Spending

  • March 19, 2015
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The Senate fiscal 2016 budget resolution sets up a major obstacle to agreement with the House over differences in defense spending …

Defense Cuts Harming Readiness; Service Leaders Call for New BRAC Round

  • March 18, 2015
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Service infrastructure officials told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s military construction and veterans affairs subcommittee Tuesday that budget cuts have harmed mission readiness by delaying repairs and improvements to infrastructure. Each cited a need for a new BRAC round to eliminate excess infrastructure. …

Budget Resolution Compromise Troubles Defense Hawks

  • March 17, 2015
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The fiscal 2016 budget resolution unveiled Tuesday by the House Budget Committee charts a delicate compromise between the intense push by defense hawks to raise DOD’s budget above the statutory cap and the desire by fiscal conservatives to stick to the spending limits. The committee recommends exceeding the defense spending cap by $39 billion in FY 2016, but because it relies on the Pentagon’s war funding account and a special reserve fund for the extra money, many defense advocates in the House balked at the proposal, reported CQ. Senate Armed Services Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has campaigned fervently for increased defense spending, on Tuesday said he would consider the plan, even though earlier he had described the use of DOD’s overseas contingency operations account as a gimmick …

House Budget Plan Falls Short, DOD Comptroller Says

  • March 17, 2015
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The approach employed in the House’s draft budget resolution to raise fiscal 2016 DOD spending above the statutory cap may help the department in the short term, but it still would leave defense officials facing uncertainty about the size of their budget beyond next year, Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord said Tuesday at an industry conference. “I appreciate the attempt to find some way to help us, but I think that we need a better solution than that one,” McCord said. The House’s plan, which relies on inflating the department’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to provide much-needed budget relief, could allow DOD to get through the next fiscal year, but it still would leave officials unsure whether “we are going to live with the law, get what we want or have all of our money shoved into OCO …

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