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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

House to Complete Work on Defense Policy Bill Today

  • May 21, 2014
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After debating dozens of amendments to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill late into Wednesday night, the House is expected to complete votes on them and move to final passage of the underlying measure Thursday. One amendment that passed Wednesday evening would hamper efforts by DOD — or Congress — to use its wartime funding account as an escape hatch for items that it can’t fit under the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps …

Hagel Stands by Austerity Measures in Budget

  • May 20, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will continue to defend the cost-cutting initiatives included in the department’s fiscal 2015 budget request as lawmakers debate the proposals over the coming months, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters Tuesday. “[Hagel] stands firmly behind the tough decisions that were made in that budget proposal, decisions that he believes are necessary to preserve our military edge in a very difficult fiscal environment …

Subcommittee’s Recommendation Exceeds Request by $110M for BRAC Cleanup

  • May 20, 2014
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Funding to clean up installations closed in past BRAC rounds would receive $380 million under the draft fiscal 2015 spending bill approved Tuesday by the Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. The recommendation exceeds DOD’s budget request by $110 million but still would represent a $71 million decline from current year funding. The spending bill approved last month by the House matched the administration’s request for $270 million for legacy BRAC sites …

Senate Panel Rebuffs Pentagon’s BRAC Request

  • May 20, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services’ Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee on Tuesday rejected the Obama administration’s request to hold a round of base closures in 2017 as it marked up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The bill does not authorize a new BRAC round. Now is not the time to spend billions of upfront dollars on another BRAC round, especially as costs for the last one have dramatically exceeded expectations, and we’re still paying for the 2005 BRAC round,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), the panel’s ranking member …

Kaine Measure Would Help Troops Pay for Civilian Credentials

  • May 19, 2014
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Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) last week introduced legislation to help service members acquire credentials that would ease their transition into the civilian workforce. The 2014 Credentialing Improvement for Troop Talent Act would allow DOD’s tuition assistance program to pay for licensing fees and additional expenses such as training materials and test fees. Currently, the program provides financial assistance for postsecondary courses and degree programs but does not cover credentialing expenses …

N.C. Lawmaker Introduces Amendment to Protect Reserve Airlift Wing

  • May 19, 2014
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North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) on Monday introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill to prevent the Air Force from deactivating the 440th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field. The proposal was included in the service’s FY 2015 budget request, which calls for retiring the 440th’s 12 C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft. “These cuts would be detrimental for the Fayetteville community — eradicating jobs and damaging the livelihood of many hard working men and women who serve Fort Bragg and Pope Airfield …

Top Installation and Energy Slots Should Be Merged, White House Says

  • May 19, 2014
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The House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill would interfere with the Pentagon’s plan to merge the positions of deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment with the assistant secretary for operational energy plans and programs, according to the White House’s response to the legislation. The statement of administration policy issued Monday by the Office of Management and Budget said it objects to language in H.R. 4435 establishing an assistant secretary of defense for installations and environment to manage military construction and environmental programs …

BRAC Dismissal Tops Long List of White House Objections to House Policy Bill

  • May 19, 2014
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Citing its rejection of the administration’s request for a new BRAC round along with a host of other cost-saving proposals, the White House on Monday threatened to veto the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The bill does not include meaningful compensation reforms and other cost saving measures, rejects many of the department’s proposed force structure changes, and restricts DOD’s ability to manage its weapon systems and infrastructure …

Nation Wastes $6B Annually on Unneeded Bases, Analyst Says

  • May 18, 2014
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By repeatedly dismissing the Pentagon’s request for additional base closures, Congress is responsible for wasting $6 billion a year on unneeded installations, according to a commentary by Loren Thompson appearing in Forbes. To arrive at that figure, Thompson takes DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request for $40 billion for base operations, facility maintenance and military construction; pro-rates that figure to account for the 20 percent of military sites that are outside the United States and its territories; and applies the department’s estimate that about 20 percent of its infrastructure is excess …

Collins Lends Support to Active, BRAC Communities

  • May 18, 2014
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Since she was first elected in 1996, Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) has been a champion of her state’s military installations and communities recovering from BRAC actions. Her longstanding support for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has resulted in the Navy spending tens of millions of dollars to upgrade its facilities. Funding to consolidate the shipyard’s structural shops was moved up to the Navy’s fiscal 2014 budget following a Navy report on improving the infrastructure needs of its four public shipyards …

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