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Posts Tagged ‘debt ceiling agreement’

Reserve Fund Plan May Draw Necessary Support for Budget Resolution

  • March 11, 2015
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Republican lawmakers have come up with a maneuver that may satisfy both defense and fiscal hawks as the House and Senate Budget committees craft a fiscal 2016 budget resolution, but it wouldn’t solve the underlying dispute over whether Congress will raise the $523 billion national security spending cap. Under the idea that has been discussed, the Budget committees would establish a reserve fund, which would allow the discretionary spending limits in the budget resolution to be raised later in the year as long as the new spending is offset by either other spending cuts or revenue increases, reported CQ. The resolution still would set FY 2016 spending at the Budget Control Act limits …

Graham Pushes for Solution to Sequestration

  • March 11, 2015
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A small group of senators, led by Lindsey Graham, is hard at work looking for a way out of the mandatory caps on defense and non-defense spending. “What we need to do is buy back sequestration. What we’re trying to do is put together a mini Simpson-Bowles deal,” Graham said in reference to the deficit reduction package offered by former Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles. As with that plan, Graham said he would be willing to consider a combination of tax hikes and entitlement cuts, reported the Hill. The prospective candidate to run for president in 2016 said he would offer to close tax loopholes in exchange for reforms to entitlement programs …

Budget Caps Threaten Activity at Fort Hood, Support Group Official Says

  • March 8, 2015
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If Congress fails to provide the Pentagon relief from the Budget Control Act spending caps, Fort Hood will experience “death by a thousand cuts,” the head of the post’s local support group told the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corp. last week. “Fort Hood is an enduring, capable installation,” said Bill Parry, executive director of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance. “The question is, at what level? …

Army Can’t Keep up with Failing Facilities

  • March 6, 2015
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Army facilities deteriorated significantly following the first two years of mandatory budget caps, fiscal 2013 and 2014, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy, and environment, told lawmakers this week. Currently, 7 percent of the service’s facilities are failing — including ones housing operating units — and 24 percent are in poor condition, Hammack told the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee on Tuesday. “The challenge is that facilities are failing at a rate faster than we’re being funded …

Strong Push by Defense Hawks Could Force Compromise over Raising Budget Caps

  • March 6, 2015
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The lack of a consensus within the Republican Party over whether to stick with or adjust the statutory spending caps is placing heightened attention on the fiscal 2016 budget resolution each chamber is required to draft. With markups of the resolutions by the House and Senate Budget committees only two weeks away, battle lines between defense hawks and fiscal hawks in the party are becoming increasingly clear. Defense hawks are insisting the Obama administration’s $534 billion base DOD budget proposal for FY 2016 is not high enough — even though it exceeds the Budget Control Act cap by $35 billion — while fiscal conservatives favor sticking with the spending limits as the best way to trim the deficit. Several defense experts interviewed by Politico underscored the heightened support among Republicans for raising the defense cap, but said at this point it’s still too soon to say how congressional leaders will settle on topline spending levels …

Fiscal Constraints are Degrading Navy Readiness, Greenert Testifies

  • March 6, 2015
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The Navy’s readiness and capabilities have suffered after three consecutive years of budget constraints, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, told lawmakers Wednesday. “Navy readiness is at its lowest point in many years,” Greenert told the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. “The budget reductions have forced us to cut afloat and ashore operations, it has generated a ship and aircraft maintenance backlog, and it has compelled us to extend unit deployments …

Appropriations Panel Tells Carter to Live within the Spending Cap

  • March 4, 2015
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Forcing the Defense Department to live within the statutory budget caps would be detrimental to the nation’s security, new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday, but the panel delivered the sobering message that the spending limits very likely are here to stay. “I completely agree that the BCA [Budget Control Act] needs to be modified to avoid dramatic, immediate and long-term negative impacts on our military capabilities,” said Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen. “But unless and until the law is changed, this committee has no choice but to draft our bill to comply with the BCA caps …

Lifting Defense Spending Cap to Wait, Graham Says

  • March 3, 2015
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The fiscal 2016 budget resolution passed by the Senate most likely will not adjust spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act, despite a push by defense hawks to lift the ceiling on national security spending, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who sits on the Budget and Armed Services committees. Graham said he favors sticking with the caps in the budget resolution, and then attempting to strike a bipartisan deal to lift the defense cap later in the session …

Republican Support to Exceed Defense Budget Cap Extends beyond Armed Services Panel

  • March 3, 2015
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The aim of House Republicans to provide the Pentagon relief from the stringent Budget Control Act spending cap for fiscal 2016 goes beyond Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee, and signals a sharp split between defense hawks and fiscal conservatives. This week it was learned that 70 House Republicans wrote Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Feb. 26 to recommend allocating at least $561 billion for national security next year, a level equivalent to the president’s budget request. The letter echoes the sentiment of defense hawks that adhering to the statutory cap for defense spending threatens national security …

McCain, Reed Back Infrastructure Consolidation

  • March 2, 2015
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In a letter urging the Senate Budget Committee to break the statutory spending cap in its fiscal 2016 budget resolution, the leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee endorses management reforms “that could reduce or consolidate military headquarters, commands and infrastructure.” The letter from Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) and ranking member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) lists multiple initiatives needed to ensure DOD uses its funding more efficiently — including acquisition reform and slowing the rate of growth of military compensation — but it does not mention approving the department’s request for a new BRAC round. Savings from such cost-cutting reforms should be reinvested to provide more funding for the warfighter, they say …

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