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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

DOD Funding Needed to Accelerate Transportation Projects, Appropriators Say

  • June 16, 2014
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The Pentagon should allocate funding for transportation projects outside the gates of military installations to help host communities accommodate increases in traffic stemming from mission growth, according to the report from the Senate Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill. “By including mission growth transportation projects as eligible infrastructure projects for federal defense funding, important improvements can be made while creating jobs and strengthening national security …

VA Reform Legislation Would Extend In-State Tuition to All Veterans

  • June 15, 2014
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The bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate last week to address the Department of Veterans Affairs’ scheduling crisis includes a provision requiring public colleges and universities to charge in-state tuition to veterans using their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits regardless of where they reside. Public institutions would be required to charge the in-state tuition rate to veterans while they are living in the state if they enroll within three years after separating from military service …

Emboldened Tea Party Republicans Could Slow Progress on Spending Bills

  • June 15, 2014
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With Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the favorite to replace Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as House majority leader following his stunning primary defeat last week, House leadership’s goal of passing all 12 individual spending bills before the new fiscal year begins seemingly will remain on track. McCarthy, an establishment Republican, supported the December budget deal relaxing Budget Control Act spending caps for fiscal 2014 and 2015 and, as result, favors the overall spending levels reflected in next year’s appropriations bills over the option of a continuing resolution …

Authorization Bills Call for Similar Reviews of Army Size, Force Structure

  • June 15, 2014
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Independent commissions that would be created under the House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill to assess the proper end strength of the Army and mix between its active and reserve components would be largely similar. Support for creating a commission to study the Army’s future structure gained momentum on Capitol Hill after the service released its plan earlier this year to trim the size of the National Guard below 350,000 soldiers and shift its fleet of 192 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the active component. The commission and its role would bear a strong resemblance to the panel the armed services committees created two years ago to study the balance between the Air Force’s active and reserve components …

Consideration of Milcon Spending Bill Pushed Back in Senate

  • June 12, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending measure will not be among the first appropriations bills that go to the Senate floor, the chamber’s Appropriations Committee announced this week. Instead, a “minibus” of three other spending bills — Commerce, Justice and Science; Transportation-HUD; and Agriculture — will go to the Senate floor next week, delaying debate of the milcon bill until later in June or July, reported CQ. The House passed its milcon spending bill, H.R. 4486, on April 30 …

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 …

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