image description

Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

DOD Plan Points the Way toward Sustainability

  • November 2, 2014
  • comments: 0

The Pentagon on Friday released a long-term plan for mitigating the risk posed by climate change effects including flooding, surging sea levels, severe weather and extreme temperatures that calls for “managing the unavoidable and preparing for the possible.” “There are plenty of things we can do to mitigate the risk, but in order to mitigate risk, you have to recognize that it exists,” said John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment. Conger added that he considers the military’s ability to cope with expected environmental changes his top concern. The report explains how climate change could directly affect installations and operations, noting “some of the department’s low-lying coastal installations are threatened by coastal erosion and inundation due to sea level rise …

Association Executives Press Levin to Reverse Spending Cuts

  • November 2, 2014
  • comments: 0

Two Washington advocacy groups last week wrote Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, urging him to lift spending caps that will harm Army readiness and jeopardize its ability to protect the nation. “The continued effects of sequestration on the Department of Defense will cause the Army, Active, Guard and Reserve to fall into unreadiness,” wrote Gordon Sullivan, president and CEO of Association of the U.S. Army, and Gus Hargett, president of the National Guard Association of the United States. Unless Congress steps in, the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps will reduce the Army to 420,000 active soldiers, 315,000 National Guard members and 185,000 in the Army Reserve, “the smallest ground forces since 1940 …

Reed May Decline Top Democratic Post on Senate Armed Services

  • October 30, 2014
  • comments: 0

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed (D) has not yet decided whether he wants the top Democratic spot on the Senate Armed Services Committee or the Banking Committee in the next Congress. With the retirement of Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), now Armed Services chairman, and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Banking chair, Reed will be the most senior Democrat on both committees. Reed had been widely expected to take the top spot on Armed Services, but now he appears to be considering the Banking post as a possibility …

BRAC Authority Needs Updating, Heritage Executive Says

  • October 30, 2014
  • comments: 0

When Washington gets around to crafting the authority for a new round of base closures, there are a number of guidelines defense officials and lawmakers should consider, according to a recent commentary in National Interest. The Pentagon should integrate its processes for rightsizing its infrastructure overseas and domestically, writes James Jay Carafano, vice president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “What the future American basing structure in Europe looks like ought to be just as important as how many bases the DOD keeps in Texas …

Forbes to Pursue Armed Services Chair

  • October 29, 2014
  • comments: 0

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) has decided to challenge frontrunner Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) to chair the House Armed Services Committee in the 114th Congress, a Forbes spokesman said Wednesday. Forbes faces an uphill battle for the powerful post as Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the outgoing chairman, has indicated he favors Thornberry, reported the Hill. Thornberry has served as the panel’s vice chairman since McKeon assumed the top spot four years ago. Forbes chairs the panel’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee; he previously was chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, which is responsible for overseeing installations and BRAC policy …

DOD Budget Picture Remains Unfavorable, Comptroller Says

  • October 29, 2014
  • comments: 0

Congress most likely won’t provide any long-term budget guidance until next spring when lawmakers will need to deal with the expiration of the debt ceiling, Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord said this week. McCord said he’s not looking for lawmakers to act on the Budget Control Act spending caps when they return to Washington following next week’s elections, reported Defense One. “We don’t really expect that there’s going to be some kind of a budget deal. It doesn’t seem that likely in the lame duck session …

Readiness to Decline again if Spending Caps Remain, Army Officials Warn

  • October 29, 2014
  • comments: 0

Senior Army leaders are increasingly concerned about the health of the force, as the department faces new demands and the likely return of sequester’s full impact in fiscal 2016. Unless Congress acts to relax the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps, the Army’s end strength, modernization and readiness will remain out of balance at least until 2019, Maj. Gen. Gary Cheek, assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, said last week. It could take the Army as long as four years to fully recover from that state, he said. “We would come into that fiscal year with a readiness deficit … that we wouldn’t be able to drop money to fix …

Prospects for Enacting Relief from Sequester Improve as Global Crises Mount

  • October 28, 2014
  • comments: 0

The confluence of multiple unplanned demands on the nation’s military and the possibility that Republicans will capture the Senate are helping the chances that Congress acts to shield the Pentagon from the full impact of the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps starting in fiscal 2016. While it remains unlikely that Congress will abolish the stringent caps, the prospects are decent that it will provide some relief, Todd Harrison, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told the Hill. “The only really feasible solution is a small deal that raises the defense budget caps by $5 to $10 billion and also raises the non-defense budget caps by the same amount …

The Trouble with a Full-Year CR

  • October 24, 2014
  • comments: 0

While the top appropriators in the House and Senate are pushing for Congress to complete fiscal 2015 appropriations before the end of the year by passing a massive year-end omnibus, many lawmakers may prefer to move a yearlong continuing resolution that simply extends lasts year’s funding levels through Sept. 30, 2015. For some, the appeal of a full-year CR for all agencies would be getting appropriations out of the way so Congress can focus on other year-end business during the lame duck session. Such a move also would provide agencies certainty about their FY 2015 spending. For Republicans, it would be a way to deny Democrats a last chance to see their spending priorities implemented …

Pentagon Likely to Conduct Study of Excess Capacity

  • October 22, 2014
  • comments: 0

DOD may study the need for additional base closures even if language in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a comprehensive assessment of excess infrastructure is stripped from the conference report, John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary for installations and environment, said Wednesday. “Even if it doesn’t end up in the final version, I think it’s a signal that we can go ahead and do a capacity analysis at a parametric level,” Conger told CQ. “It’s not a bad thing to have those numbers,” he said. The bill language directs DOD to compare 20-year force structure plans for each of the services with an inventory of their installations to determine the level of excess infrastructure throughout the department …

Array ( )