image description

Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

Obama Administration Not Ready with Plan for Closing Guantánamo

  • September 10, 2015
  • comments: 0

A White House plan to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay will not be delivered to Capitol Hill shortly, a delay that could jeopardize the Obama administration’s best shot to gain Congress’ assent to moving the detainees from Cuba to a U.S. facility. The administration earlier indicated the plan would be ready in early September, but that no longer is the case, according to a White House official. “We want to ensure our plan to safely and responsibly close Guantánamo has all bases covered. We don’t have a timeline on when the plan will be delivered to Congress,” the official said …

Defense Bill Remains on Schedule, Thornberry Says

  • September 9, 2015
  • comments: 0

Despite the need to hash out differences over several issues centered on military benefits, Congress is on track to complete the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters Tuesday. “I think we’ve made progress and hopefully we will have a conference report available to come to the floor soon,” Thornberry said, reported CQ Roll Call. The chairman would not discuss specific disagreements but expressed optimism that work on the annual policy measure would be finished shortly. “I don’t know about timing. I think most issues are resolved …

Pentagon to Assess Additional Sites to Move Guantánamo Detainees

  • September 4, 2015
  • comments: 0

Defense officials have expanded the list of sites for housing Guantánamo Bay detainees they will visit in preparation for drafting a formal plan to close the controversial detention center. The department would not reveal the names of the “handful” of additional sites a team will visit in order to prevent a backlash similar to the one that occurred after it announced officials would travel to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C. Officials said the new sites would be military and non-military, and cautioned that the list is not yet final, reported the Hill. Surveyors also are looking for a site where military commissions for the detainees could be held …

‘Time for a New BRAC,’ Principi Says

  • September 4, 2015
  • comments: 0

In a post marking the 10th anniversary of the final report of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission, Anthony Principi, who served as the panel’s chairman, makes the case for a new round. The previous five BRAC rounds allowed the Defense Department to align its infrastructure with the needs of the armed forces, a process the department needs to undertake again, Principi writes in the Hill’s Congress Blog. “In this time of great fiscal constraint, we cannot continue to deny DOD the opportunity to rationalize its vast excess infrastructure …

Congress Needs to Reconsider BRAC Stance, O’Hanlon Argues

  • September 2, 2015
  • comments: 0

Lawmakers have resisted many of the cost-saving reforms proposed by the Pentagon in recent years to cope with tight fiscal constraints, including its request to hold one or more rounds of base closures. With the economy improved, though, Congress should rethink its opposition to the Obama administration’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017, Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, argues in a commentary published by the National Interest. After DOD conducted five rounds of closures through 2005 — saving up to $12 billion annually — Congress has soured on the process, even as DOD estimates it has at least 20 percent more infrastructure than needed for a force structure reduced by 40 percent since the Cold War …

Kansas Lawmakers Decry Planning Effort to Move Detainees to Ft. Leavenworth

  • August 18, 2015
  • comments: 0

Members of Kansas’ congressional delegation have criticized the Pentagon’s decision to assess the feasibility of housing detainees at Fort Leavenworth now held at Guantánamo Bay as it drafts a formal plan for closing the controversial detention center. Defense officials last week traveled to the post in northeastern Kansas; they plan to visit the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C., shortly. The surveys are part of the “ongoing effort to identify locations within the United States that can possibly facilitate military commissions and can possibly hold detainees currently at GTMO,” a DOD spokesman told the Voice of America. DOD will consider a variety of “military and civilian sites” to determine whether they can hold the law of war detainees “in a humane and secure manner,” according to the spokesman. “Only those locations that can hold detainees at a maximum security level will be considered …

Policy Bill Talks Stuck on Military Benefits

  • August 4, 2015
  • comments: 0

A proposed increase in co-pays for prescriptions has emerged as one of the thorniest issues in negotiations between the House and Senate Armed Services committees over the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. As of last week, the ranking members of the two committees had sided with Senate Armed Services Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) against House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) over the health care fees. McCain, along with Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), favor DOD’s plan to increase co-pays for drugs purchased through Tricare by mail or at retail pharmacies while continuing to allow prescriptions to be filled at military clinics for free …

McCain, Thornberry to Continue Talks over Defense Bill

  • July 31, 2015
  • comments: 0

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain and his House counterpart, Mac Thornberry, are expected to continue negotiations over the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill during Congress’ August recess with the goal of completing a conference report in September. “We’re not going to stay in town, but there are phones and all kinds of ways of communicating and engaging,” McCain said. The two committee leaders planned to meet Thursday night to see if they could make progress on some of the most contentious issues separating the two sides, reported CQ Roll Call. Differences over military benefits have proven to be among the negotiation’s most difficult hurdles, as the Senate version embraces cost-saving proposals to slow the rate of increase in service members’ basic allowance for housing and raise Tricare prescription co-pays that the House rejects …

Housing Allowance, Retirement Benefits Remain Sticking Points for Conferees

  • July 24, 2015
  • comments: 0

A handful of outstanding issues are hindering progress by House and Senate conferees negotiating a final version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, and almost certainly will prevent talks from finishing in time for the two chambers to clear a compromise measure before leaving Washington for August recess. Issues holding up the talks include service members’ housing and retirement benefits, along with language in the House version barring the Interior Department from listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species. Members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees have met throughout the week, but differences over those issues and others make it doubtful they will meet their target date for agreeing to a conference report, reported CQ Roll Call. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking member on House Armed Services, said committee leaders were not planning to meet Thursday, making it extremely unlikely that negotiations could be completed this week …

Conference Agreement on Defense Bill May Be Delayed

  • July 23, 2015
  • comments: 0

Lawmakers’ goal to hash out a compromise version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill before Congress’ August recess may be in jeopardy, according to multiple sources on Capitol Hill. As recently as last Friday, the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees were hoping to complete negotiations in time for the House to take up a conference report next week, with the Senate clearing it the following week. But even as talks among House-Senate conferees continue this week, several congressional staff members have told Inside Defense that lawmakers may not agree on compromise legislation until they return to Washington in September …

Page 3 of 5712345678910...203040...
Array ( )