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Posts Tagged ‘debt ceiling agreement’

Young Officers Won’t Be Forced Out, Army Says

  • April 22, 2014
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The Army on Tuesday denied an Associated Press story stating it would need to force 3,000 officers out of the service by the end of fiscal 2015 as part of an effort to shrink its end strength from 522,000 soldiers to 490,000. The Army could rely on natural separations such as retirements and fewer enlistments to reach its target, said spokesman Troy Rolan. “I don’t see why we would have to force anybody out,” Rolan told Government Executive. “There’s so many ways we can reach any number, it’s almost impossible to describe them all …

Defense Lobbying Shifts from Capitol Hill to Pentagon

  • April 20, 2014
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Even as lobbyists gear up for markups of the defense authorization bill and spending bills, much of their attention has shifted to the Defense Department as spending caps and earmark bans limit the power of lawmakers. “We’re not doing the retail lobbying on the Hill anymore,” one lobbyist told CQ. “I’m only hiring people who know their way around the Pentagon.” The change comes as lawmakers have lost much of their influence on spending decisions …

Air Force to Eliminate 2,700 Civilian Positions in FY’15

  • April 16, 2014
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The Air Force plans to trim its civilian workforce from 186,026 employees to 183,328 through a combination of early retirements, buyouts and attrition. The elimination of 2,698 positions comes as the Air Force searches for ways to cope with spending caps first mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act, reports the Federal Times. “Our entire workforce — military, civilian and contractor — must be appropriately sized to support and execute our piece of the National Defense Strategy while concurrently considering fiscal realities …

Pay, Benefits Reform is Needed, Marine Corps’ Enlisted Leader Tells Lawmakers

  • April 15, 2014
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The highest ranking enlisted Marine is under fire from his own troops after telling a congressional panel that a deterioration in readiness due to sequestration is more harmful to personnel than moderate cuts to pay and benefits. Marines are not running around thinking about “compensation, benefits or retirement modernization,” Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett told the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee last week …

DOD Report Reveals Extent of Facility Budget Cuts under Spending Caps

  • April 15, 2014
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Spending on installation services, facilities sustainment and military construction would be trimmed by $17.5 billion if the defense budget were held at sequester levels from fiscal years 2016-2019, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pentagon. The Army would be forced to make the most far-reaching reductions to installation services, with the report projecting it would need to cut spending by $3.8 billion over the four-year period. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are projected to cut installations services spending by a total of $1.0 billion from FY 2016-2019, compared to the department’s five-year spending plan submitted as part of its FY 2015 budget request …

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 …

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