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Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

Senate Appropriators Lend Support for Revising HUBZone Program

  • July 24, 2014
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A proposal to ease requirements for tenants at closed installations to qualify for the HUBZone program — a Small Business Administration (SBA) initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas — has picked up the endorsement of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The legislative change was added to the Senate version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill before the Armed Services Committee approved the measure in May. The language would expand the geographic boundaries of HUBZones at BRAC sites to include the town or county where the installation is located, or census tracts contiguous to the installation …

Ranchers Concerned about Possible Transfer of BLM Lands at White Sands to DOD

  • July 23, 2014
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Language in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill shifting control of hundreds of thousands of acres owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the northern extension of White Sands Missile Range, N.M., to the Pentagon has ranchers concerned that the transfer could restrict their access for grazing and hunting. The provision is a reaction to the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project — a 515-mile, high-voltage transmission line traversing the northern extension of White Sands — which DOD officials had opposed until May when the developer agreed to bury five miles of the line to eliminate conflicts with training and weapons testing …

Levin Concedes Possible Need for Backup Plan to Advance Authorization Bill

  • July 22, 2014
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Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of Armed Service Committee, has given staff members permission to begin discussions with their House colleagues over a compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill in the event the Senate again fails to approve its own version of the annual defense policy legislation. “I have given the green light to have preliminary discussions,” Levin said, reported Defense News. “We’ve got to have a fallback plan …

Forbes Blasts Navy Plan to Deactivate Cruisers

  • July 13, 2014
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Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, slammed the Navy’s plan to save $4.7 billion by taking 11 guided missile cruisers out of service for modernization. Forbes faulted the proposal during a hearing Thursday, saying there is no guarantee the ships would return to service since the money needed to update the cruisers may not be available. “I don’t think this is a phased modernization plan,” Forbes said, reported the Virginian-Pilot. “I think this is a phased euthanization plan, because when those ships go into dry dock, we have no assurance they’re coming back …

Will Unfunded Milcon Requirements Harm Readiness, Authorization Committee Asks

  • June 25, 2014
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The Defense Department’s fiscal 2015 military construction request is 40 percent lower than it was in FY 2014, prompting the Senate Armed Services Committee to ask the department to assess the risk to readiness it is accepting by deferring many of its construction requirements. The panel said it was worried about the likely impact of curtailing milcon spending on the number of facilities in poor to failing condition, according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The committee is concerned that milcon cuts will ultimately lead to lasting negative impacts to our military’s readiness and their ability to effectively respond to crisis abroad and at home …

Policy Bill Debate Still Not on Senate Calendar

  • June 24, 2014
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Senate leaders still have not scheduled time to debate the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill on the chamber floor, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday. Levin said Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) understands the importance of the measure, but at this point, “I have no way of knowing when the leader’s going to find a place for it.” The chairman is hoping to avoid a repeat of last year when the Senate didn’t take up the bill until November …

House Votes to Oppose BRAC, Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • June 19, 2014
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In two votes that succinctly summarize the challenge the Pentagon faces in planning for mandated budget cuts, House lawmakers voted Thursday night to bar DOD from spending any funds to plan for or carry out another BRAC round, and to prevent it from implementing the Air Force’s proposal to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. The two votes came during House debate of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. Final passage of the bill is expected today …

Authorization Bills Call for Similar Reviews of Army Size, Force Structure

  • June 15, 2014
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Independent commissions that would be created under the House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill to assess the proper end strength of the Army and mix between its active and reserve components would be largely similar. Support for creating a commission to study the Army’s future structure gained momentum on Capitol Hill after the service released its plan earlier this year to trim the size of the National Guard below 350,000 soldiers and shift its fleet of 192 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the active component. The commission and its role would bear a strong resemblance to the panel the armed services committees created two years ago to study the balance between the Air Force’s active and reserve components …

Levin Urges Bipartisan Cooperation to Ready Authorization Bill for Debate

  • June 11, 2014
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In an effort to avoid a repeat of last year when the Senate lost its opportunity to debate the defense authorization bill, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, took to the chamber floor Wednesday with an appeal to colleagues to help committee leadership prepare the fiscal 2015 authorization bill to go to the floor. Levin urged lawmakers to file their amendments to the annual policy bill before the July recess so the committee can identify those likely to require time for debate. The committee approved the bill last month …

House, Senate Policy Bills Offer Competing Plans for Reorganizing Top Installations Post

  • June 11, 2014
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Depending on how the issue is settled during House-Senate negotiations over the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, the Pentagon’s top installations and environment position could remain in place but with a new title, or it could be merged with the department’s operational energy chief post. The Senate version of the annual defense policy bill, approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee last month, adopts DOD’s reorganization plan, which calls for merging the positions of deputy undersecretary of defense (DUSD) for installations and environment with the assistant secretary of defense (ASD) for operational energy plans and programs …

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