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Posts Tagged ‘debt ceiling agreement’

Battle over A-10 Heats up on Capitol Hill

  • April 10, 2014
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Republican lawmakers and local officials on Thursday pledged to save the A-10 attack aircraft from an Air Force proposal to retire the fleet in the face of strict spending caps originally mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act. The challenge for the lawmakers, led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), is finding an offset to make up for the $3.5 billion the Air Force intends to save by eliminating the aircraft that specializes in close air support, reported Defense News. “I am working this issue with my colleagues,” Ayotte told reporters …

SASC Members Launch Effort to Reverse Spending Cuts

  • April 8, 2014
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Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee plan on holding informal discussions on ways to loosen the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps. Congress has provided partial relief to the automatic cuts in the first three years of sequestration, but starting in fiscal 2016 they are slated to be fully imposed, amounting to more than $50 billion in spending reductions annually. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said the committee is well-suited to tackle the issue because it’s bipartisan, broadly representative of both parties and more familiar with the impact of sequestration than other committees since DOD represents half of the spending cuts. Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) previously has talked about the effort. “I don’t know where it’s going. I just wanted to open up a discussion in the committee about what to do about sequester instead of just complaining about it,” King told the Hill on Tuesday.

Unfunded Priorities Lists Unlikely to Be Fulfilled

  • April 6, 2014
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The military services last week sent Congress a list of $36 billion worth of priorities not included in DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request, including significant amounts of funding for facility needs. The lists, requested by the House Armed Services Committee, stand little chance of being funded, though, as lawmakers are unlikely to revisit the FY 2015 spending caps included in last December’s budget agreement. “It is not going to happen,” said Gordon Adams, a Stimson Center analyst responsible for the defense budget during the Clinton administration …

House Republican Budget Would Restore Defense Spending

  • April 1, 2014
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The long-term spending plan unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Tuesday calls for defense spending to exceed Budget Control Act spending caps starting in fiscal 2016 and to return to pre-sequester levels by 2017. After FY 2015, the House Republican’s 10-year budget shifts more than $50 billion a year from domestic to defense spending, a move that guarantees the plan will be universally opposed by Democrats. Assuming the budget resolution passes the House, it almost certainly will not be reconciled with a Senate version as that chamber is not expected to move its own budget this year …

Air Force Plan to Retire A-10s Poses Dilemma for Lawmakers

  • March 30, 2014
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House lawmakers expressed frustration over the Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft, as witnesses testified during multiple hearings last week that the aircraft’s value to the force could not overcome the overwhelming need to trim the service’s budget. “If you look at risks, capabilities and operational needs, the A-10 should not be retired,” Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, told the Hill. Yet, Turner said he did not know whether the committee could find offsetting cuts in the fiscal 2015 budget to save the fleet of 283 A-10 Warthogs …

Further Sequester Relief Not a Priority for Senate Leadership

  • March 27, 2014
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Senate Democrats have downgraded their effort to ease the burden of sequestration on DOD through fiscal 2021, dropping it from their list of legislative goals for the remainder of the year. Over the last 18 months, top Senate Democrats had made a push to replace the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on defense and domestic spending with alternative mechanisms for reducing the deficit, but on Thursday Senate leaders highlighted only domestic issues as their priorities for 2014 …

House Sticking to Budget Agreement, Boehner Says

  • March 25, 2014
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House Republicans have no plans to adjust the defense spending caps established in last December’s budget deal as a result of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday. When asked about the likelihood that Congress would lift the caps on defense spending over the next six years, Boehner said it was too soon to tell, reported the Hill. “I don’t know that we’re far enough along in that project to make that determination. In terms of the spending for defense in this year, I believe that we’ll abide by the budget agreement that we’ve already made …

DOD Bets Against Sequestration

  • March 23, 2014
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The DOD’s current long-term fiscal plans make a big assumption–that Congress will find a way to halt the automatic $35 billion cut to the department’s budget slated for 2016. In a memo to the military service chiefs last month, Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox said next fiscal year “will be a critical inflection point…and we will look for a signal from Congress that sequestration will not be imposed in FY 2016…

If Congress Delivers Funds, DOD Will Budget for Higher Force Levels, Comptroller Says

  • March 16, 2014
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Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale pledged to eliminate the confusion over what force structure levels could be sustained under its five-year spending plan, provided lawmakers indicate they will provide the department much-needed relief from mandated spending caps. Hale’s statement came in response to a defense analyst’s criticism that the future years defense plan (FYDP) DOD released earlier this month failed to include the preferred force levels Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel indicated it would …

Lawmakers Unlikely to Adjust Sequester Cuts through FY’15

  • March 11, 2014
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With a difficult compromise on spending already achieved in December, Congress is unlikely to offer agencies additional relief from the existing spending caps until fiscal 2016. The bipartisan deal reached late last year reversed $63 billion in discretionary spending cuts across the government over FY 2014 and 2015, reducing the urgency to revisit the caps until the agreement expires on Sept. 30, 2015. At that point, though, serious discussions on a new deal to lift the spending caps could begin …

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