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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

N.C. Delegation Will Continue to Oppose Effort to Shutter Airlift Wing

  • April 19, 2015
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North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis said he would continue to fight the Air Force’s plan to deactivate Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing after officials last week released a long-waited reported justifying the move. The freshman senator said the plan to deactivate the 440th — an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field — would hinder the ability of airborne units at the post to quickly deploy to global hotspots. “Why on Earth would we jeopardize the training and readiness in that context — the only place on the planet where we do that? It just doesn’t make sense to me …

Subcommittee Chairman Appears to Favor Consolidation Plan for Exchanges, Commissaries

  • April 19, 2015
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After gaining support among top DOD leaders, a plan to consolidate the military’s commissary and exchange systems now may be favored by a key lawmaker responsible for personnel policy. Rep. Joe Heck, chairman of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, has been reviewing the report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which in January called for consolidating DOD’s three exchange services with the Defense Commissary Agency into a single Defense Resale Activity …

Funding Needed to Alleviate Gridlock outside Bases, Washington Lawmaker Testifies

  • April 16, 2015
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Many installations that experienced mission growth following the last BRAC round are still grappling with traffic congestion outside their gates, an urgent issue that requires dedicated funding from Congress, Washington Rep. Denny Heck (D) told the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee during its annual “member day” hearing Wednesday. At the installation Heck represents, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a disproportionate reliance on I-5 for access to the base has resulted in gridlock on a regular basis in South Puget Sound. The problem is not unique to the region as many installations, particularly in urban areas, are still coping with the aftermath of the 2005 round of BRAC and short-term mission growth …

Procedural Hurdle to Extra Defense Spending May Not Survive Compromise Budget Talks

  • April 16, 2015
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The compromise version of the fiscal 2016 budget resolution may jettison a procedural hurdle that could block the Senate from allocating $38 billion in extra funding stashed in DOD’s overseas contingency operations account (OCO). The funds were added to the war account in both chambers’ budget blueprints as a way of eluding the $523 billion Budget Control Act cap on national security spending. The Senate’s version, though, includes a point of order on spending from the OCO that exceeds $58 billion, the original amount requested by the Obama administration …

Arizona Lawmaker Fighting to Save the A-10

  • April 16, 2015
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Arizona Rep. Martha McSally is working with fellow lawmakers and Republican leaders to find $500 million to keep the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 attack jets in service. One year after Congress offered the A-10 a temporary reprieve from an Air Force plan to retire the fleet, the first-term lawmaker is crafting language for the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill to keep the Warthog flying. “I feel like I have made a very strong case and I believe that the leadership understands the importance of the A-10, so now we’re doing the sausage-making to make sure that happens …

House Panel Advances Milcon Spending Bill

  • April 15, 2015
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The House Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday approved a fiscal 2016 spending measure recommending a $900 million increase to $7.7 billion for military construction and family housing programs over the current year. The legislation passed despite criticism from Democrats that the measure is not fully funded, reported CQ Roll Call. The $76.6 billion spending bill, including the VA component, comes in $4.6 billion higher than the FY 2015 enacted level even though next year’s spending cap for all federal discretionary spending rises only $2 billion …

McCain to Let Panel Decide on Opening up Authorization Bill Markup

  • April 15, 2015
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John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he would let his committee vote whether to hold its markup of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill in open session. The committee’s markup of the annual defense policy measure traditionally has been closed to the public due to the preference of former Chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.). Levin had said it was unworkable to shift between open and closed sessions while deliberating over the authorization bill …

Authorization Bill Would Allow Pentagon to Use Extra War Funds, Defense Chairs Say

  • April 14, 2015
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The heads of the House and Senate Armed Services committees plan to include language in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would allow defense officials to use funds in the department’s war funding account for base budget operations. The remarks of John McCain (R-Ariz.), Senate Armed Services chairman, and Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), House Armed Services chairman, address the question of whether congressional Republicans’ plan to sidestep the statutory cap on defense spending by adding funds to DOD’s overseas contingency operations account (OCO) will achieve the desired result. The FY 2016 budget resolutions advanced in both chambers would allocate $38 billion more than the $58 billion requested for the OCO account by the administration …

Milcon Spending in House Proposal Falls Short of DOD Request

  • April 14, 2015
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Fiscal 2016 funding for military construction and family housing would take a significant step toward levels allocated as recently as FY 2014 under the draft spending bill released Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee. Overall, spending on military construction and family housing would rise $900 million over current year funding to $7.7 billion. The House’s proposal, however, still falls short of the Obama administration’s request for $8.4 billion in FY 2016. Milcon funding dropped about one-third in the current year as the department opted to defer a portion of its construction program to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness …

GAO Highlights Need for DOD to Improve Tracking of Underutilized Facilities

  • April 14, 2015
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In a report presenting 66 actions the federal government could take to improve efficiency, the Government Accountability Office reiterates the need for the Defense Department to improve its processes for identifying underutilized facilities as a prerequisite for consolidating or disposing of unneeded facilities. The congressional watchdog agency cited its earlier recommendations calling for DOD to modify its procedures for updating and verifying data on the utilization of facilities, and to establish a strategic plan to manage its real property. The plan should include long-term goals, strategies and use of metrics to help the department identify potential consolidation or disposal opportunities …

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