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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

House Spending Bill Rejects Many DOD Cost-Cutting Proposals

  • May 29, 2014
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The $491 billion fiscal 2015 defense spending bill unveiled Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee ignores many of the Pentagon’s plans for cutting back programs aimed at keeping its budget under next year’s statutory spending cap. The draft measure includes $789 million to refuel the USS George Washington in a reversal of DOD’s budget request, which assumes the carrier would be retired to save money. The bill also includes language barring the Army from shifting the Army National Guard’s fleet of Apache attack helicopters to active-duty forces …

House Passes Amendment to Extend Environmental Protections to Non-BRAC Sites

  • May 29, 2014
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Land not yet transferred at former ammunition plants and other military installations closed outside of the BRAC process would receive the same liability protections as BRAC sites when unknown contamination is discovered, under an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill passed by the House last week. The amendment, sponsored by Indiana Rep. Todd Young (R), would extend the indemnity now provided by Section 330 of the 1993 defense authorization bill to property not yet transferred at bases closed outside of the BRAC process …

Budget Reality Makes BRAC Urgent, Former DOD Official Says

  • May 28, 2014
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With the Pentagon’s authority to pare down its excess infrastructure limited, perhaps officials could jump start the process by following the formula used in the 1980s when the department was similarly stymied from closing bases, according to an op-ed published in Defense News. To break the logjam, Lawrence Korb, the senior DOD official in charge of installations, and then-Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, agreed in 1985 that DOD would submit a list of bases it wanted to close to the committee …

Amendment to Policy Bill Would Bar DOD from Assessing Climate Change

  • May 28, 2014
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The Pentagon would be prohibited from assessing climate change, under an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill that House lawmakers approved last week. The language, sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), passed on a near party-line vote. “This amendment will prohibit the costs of the president’s climate change policies being forced on the Department of Defense by the Obama administration,” McKinley wrote House colleagues …

Republican Gains in Midterm Election May Not Translate into Spending Gains for DOD

  • May 28, 2014
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It’s not clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate, considered a solid prospect in the midterm election, would result in a spending boost for the Pentagon or other policy changes beneficial to the defense industry. With a Democratic president still in the White House for two more years and the House still controlled by the Republicans, gridlock likely would continue on Capitol Hill no matter who controls the Senate, reported Politico …

Thornberry Keeps Government’s Focus on National Security

  • May 27, 2014
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Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry has established himself as a leader in national security, and after serving as the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee since 2011, he has earned a reputation as an innovator and strategic thinker in defense policy. As part of his leadership role on the Armed Services Committee, he is leading a long-term effort to reform the Department of Defense, including a review of the way the Pentagon buys goods and services. The study’s goal is to streamline the department’s acquisition process, field better weapons and save taxpayers’ money …

House, Senate Panel Call for Commission on Army Force Structure

  • May 26, 2014
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An independent commission would assess the proper end strength of the Army and mix between its active and reserve components, under separate versions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approved last week by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee. A bipartisan amendment approved by the House would require the commission to explore — in addition to the Army’s size and mix — missions, force generation policies and how the structure should be modified to best fulfill mission requirements in a manner consistent with available resources …

DOD to Shed European Facilities

  • May 26, 2014
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The Pentagon will return 21 minor, non-operational sites to their host nations in Europe, an early result of its year-long review of excess infrastructure. DOD on Friday said the moves will save about $60 million annually, and will include outdated and excess family housing facilities, recreation sites and storage depots located across U.S. European Command. None of these adjustments affects existing force structure or military capabilities in Europe, according to Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby. And no major installations will be affected. As the department continues to carry out its European Infrastructure Consolidation review, it will look for additional excess sites to return to their host. “It’s an ongoing process and it will continue,” Kirby said, reported Stars and Stripes. “This is sort of the first tranche of what I suspect will be other changes to come.”

Committee Hopes for Budget Deal that Lifts Defense Spending Caps

  • May 26, 2014
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Congress should find a bipartisan solution that relaxes the stringent spending caps on the Pentagon without increasing the deficit, according to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approved last week by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The measure expresses the sense of the Senate that sequestration is having an adverse impact on the defense budget, according to a summary of the legislation provided by the committee. The bill text and committee report have not yet been released. The bill includes a number of provisions affecting installation policy, starting with language making clear that it is not authorizing a future BRAC round …

Senate Bill Would Aid BRAC Recovery through Changes to HUBZone Program

  • May 26, 2014
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A provision in the Senate version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill would make it easier for tenants located at closed installations to qualify for the HUBZone program, a Small Business Administration initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas. The language, added by Maine Sen. Angus King (I), would expand the geographic boundaries of HUBZones at BRAC sites to include the town or county where the installation is located, or census tracts contiguous to the installation …

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