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Posts Tagged ‘debt ceiling agreement’

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 …

Last-Minute Change to DOD’s Spending Plan Complicated Budget Presentation

  • March 11, 2014
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Confounding explanations by top Pentagon officials last week over what force structure levels could be sustained by the department’s five-year spending plan were the direct result of a White House decision earlier this year to approve a budget that exceeded the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. Defense officials originally prepared budgets that complied with the spending caps for both its fiscal 2015 request and the future years defense plan (FYDP), the spending projection for the next five years. Sometime early this year — at a very late stage in in the budget process — the White House told DOD to plan for exceeding the spending caps from FY 2016-2019 by $115 billion …

Lawmakers Resist Pentagon Spending Plan

  • March 9, 2014
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The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee last week both criticized DOD’s five-year spending plan for providing insufficient funds to sustain the nation’s military. “The proposal before us makes reductions in force structure and compensation that will be difficult for many to support,” Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said during the March 5 hearing on the department’s fiscal 2015 budget request. Levin cited the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act as the primary obstacle facing the military, an assessment that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel concurred with and expanded upon …

DOD Stuck with Sequestration, House Panelists Conclude

  • March 7, 2014
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In the 10 days since Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined the department’s latest budget and associated cuts in force structure, Republican lawmakers have denounced the spending plan while Democrats have expressed reservations with the proposed changes. But despite warnings from Hagel and other top Pentagon officials that Congress will need to reverse at least some of the defense cuts imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act if it wants to avoid weakening the military, the prospect of lawmakers reaching a deal to adjust the spending caps remains quite low …

Pentagon Paints Itself into Corner with Five-Year Spending Plan

  • March 5, 2014
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Top DOD officials had a difficult time Wednesday explaining to the Senate Armed Services Committee the logical inconsistency between a five-year budget that assumes $115 billion in relief from sequester cuts and the spending plan’s cuts in force structure they said could be avoided with the additional funding. On Tuesday, Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told reporters that officials included in its FY 2015-2019 budget a cut in the Army’s active-duty end strength to 420,000 and a reduction to 10 aircraft carrier battle groups. That spending plan assumes that a significant portion of the sequester cuts slated for FY 2016 and beyond would be reversed, allowing the military to avoid some of the most far-reaching impacts of sequestration …

White House Investment Fund Would Provide Injection for DOD Facilities

  • March 4, 2014
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Facilities sustainment and military construction would receive a much-needed infusion in funds in fiscal 2015 under the $56 billion Opportunity, Growth and Security initiative included in the White House’s new budget proposal. The “wish list” of projects is not part of the administration’s base FY 2015 budget, and would require Congress to accept a package of offsets that calls for the elimination of certain tax breaks and alternative spending cuts. As a result, the initiative, which includes $26.4 billion for DOD, almost certainly will not go forward …

DOD Spending Plan Faces High Hurdles on the Way to Congressional Acceptance

  • March 4, 2014
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Based on the reaction of both Republicans and Democrats to last week’s preview of the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request, the administration’s spending plan almost certainly will not be approved without significant changes to its recommendations, particularly those calling for cuts to the Army’s active-duty and reserve forces, adjustments to service members’ benefits and retirement of the A-10 aircraft fleet. “There’s a clear sentiment on both sides, both Republicans and Democrats, on the Armed Services Committee that these cuts are too draconian,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ….

Sequestration Is Here to Stay, HASC Minority Leader Says

  • March 2, 2014
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Automatic spending cuts slated to be imposed on the defense budget through fiscal 2021 most likely will remain in place, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said in an interview aired Sunday. “If you had to bet, you’d bet that sequestration is going to stick around,” Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, told “Defense News with Vago Muradian.” The congressman’s remarks, which echo comments made by Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), come as many lawmakers last week decried the cuts in force structure and military benefits included in the Pentagon’s latest five-year spending plan …

FY’15 Budget Won’t Include Detailed Plan for Addressing Sequestration Long-Term

  • February 27, 2014
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Defense officials have prepared a detailed plan for complying with the sequester caps in fiscal 2016 and beyond, but it will not be part of the department’s FY 2015 budget submission next week. Instead, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday when he unveiled the Pentagon’s latest five-year spending plan, officials will submit a budget that exceeds the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps by $115 billion through FY 2019. The department’s FY 2015 budget request for $496 billion, though, adheres to the spending cap in last December’s bipartisan budget agreement …

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