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Posts Tagged ‘debt ceiling agreement’

Pentagon Adequately Planned for Sequestration, Spokesman Says

  • November 12, 2013
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In the prolonged run-up to the imposition of sequestration earlier this year, defense officials followed the best course of action in coping with the looming automatic cuts to its fiscal 2013 budget, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters Tuesday during his last briefing before stepping down. “I think we’ve overall done precisely the right thing. We have talked about the prospective impacts of sequestration. We were very clear about that,” Little said. “And we’ve been clear since sequestration took effect about what’s happened,” he stated …

No Progress to Date as Budget Conferees Approach Second Public Meeting

  • November 12, 2013
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Members of the House-Senate budget conference on Wednesday will hear a nonpartisan description of different options for dealing with the nation’s fiscal woes from Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf, but there is no reason to believe his testimony will help bridge differences between the committee’s Republicans and Democrats. CBO also will release today a lengthy list of options for reducing the deficit, reported CQ. Wednesday’s meeting, the budget conference’s second formal get-together, comes just 30 days ahead of its Dec. 13 deadline for hashing out a compromise budget plan for fiscal 2014 …

Sequestration Relief Would First Go to Readiness, Comptroller Says

  • November 11, 2013
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The Pentagon would readily accept any reduction in the $50 billion hit its fiscal 2014 budget is slated to take under sequester cuts going into effect in January, with the first dollars helping to offset cutbacks in training and readiness, said Comptroller Robert Hale. “We are in our own minds — and to some extent on paper — starting to create, if you will, buyback lists,” Hale told Politico. “Readiness would be high … I think that is the first thing we would try to buy back with $10 billion …

With No Budget, DOD Putting the Brakes on Spending

  • November 7, 2013
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The Pentagon’s acquisitions chief said Thursday he is postponing decisions on some programs until Congress provides greater clarity for the short-term outlook of the defense budget. At the same time, Frank Kendall, DOD’s undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said he is trimming the rate of spending, in anticipation of another round of across-the-board sequester cuts hitting the department in January …

Frustration over Impact of Defense Cuts Sets in for Senate Panel

  • November 7, 2013
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The latest hearing on the impact of sequestration featuring the military’s top officers left Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Armed Services Committee discouraged that their colleagues have failed to avert the deep spending cuts and, in many cases, embarrassed. “I feel ashamed to have you come back here again and again and again to tell us the same thing, and not see us doing anything about it,” Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Thursday …

Republican Senators Look to Provide DOD Flexibility to Manage Automatic Cuts

  • November 6, 2013
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Despite the GOP’s embrace of sequestration, a number of Republican senators want to provide the Pentagon flexibility to allocate the deep spending cuts if the House-Senate budget conference fails to reach a deal to replace them. The group includes lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee as well as some who are not. “There is going to be an effort to give the Pentagon some discretion,” Pat Roberts (Kan.) told Stars and Stripes. “It’s not so much the amount [of the cuts], but the discretion …

Strategic Choices Point to Reduced Need for ‘Garrison Force,’ Hagel Says

  • November 5, 2013
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Deep cuts in military end strength are one likely outcome of budget and strategic planning efforts now under way at the Pentagon, as significant changes are expected across every aspect of the department, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday during a speech delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The overriding question Hagel broached four months ago when he introduced the results of the Strategic Choices and Management Review — whether the nation will keep a heavy active-duty military with aging equipment and technology, or reduce the number of forces while retaining a focus on modernization — seemingly has been answered …

Budget Conferees Open with Talk of Bipartisan Deal but Acknowledge Task Is Tall

  • October 30, 2013
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Leaders of the House-Senate budget conference committee opened the panel’s first session Wednesday promising to work toward bipartisan solutions, but they also doubled down on their parties’ differing positions. In general, Republicans want to look at reducing spending while Democratic negotiators want tax increases on the table…

Both Sides Indicate Need to Target Sequester Cuts

  • October 27, 2013
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Comments by Democratic and Republican leaders last week signaled a common goal of addressing automatic spending cuts during deliberations of the House-Senate budget conference. Whether the two parties are willing to make the necessary compromises to “buy back” some or all of the sequester cuts is still an open question. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) seemed to create an opening when he told Bloomberg Television he would support new revenues to reach a deal …

House Republicans Urge Solution to Reverse Defense Cuts

  • October 24, 2013
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In a letter to the leaders of the House-Senate budget conference, 30 of 34 Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee urge the panel to find a way to preserve defense spending as it searches for a bipartisan agreement over the fiscal 2014 budget. The lawmakers argue that the defense budget should be set — at a minimum — above sequestration levels …

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