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Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

Committee Wants Update on DOD’s Plan for Mitigating Impact of Climate Change at Installations

  • May 7, 2015
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The House Armed Services Committee directs the Pentagon to brief it on the steps it is taking to mitigate the potential impacts of climate change, under an amendment to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill added during last week’s committee markup. According to the amendment, offered by Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), the briefing should address: How are changing conditions affecting operations and military readiness at U.S. installations? How are best practices being disseminated and implemented across U.S. installations …

Defense Committee Embraces Installation-Community Partnerships

  • May 6, 2015
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The military services should take advantage of the relatively new authority allowing installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with local governments to provide, receive or share support services for most municipal functions, according to report language accompanying the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. “The [House Armed Services] Committee notes that the authority to enter into intergovernmental support agreements is broad and encourages the Department of Defense to leverage this authority in a manner that provides costs savings and improved services in support of Department of Defense installations, military personnel and their families,” the report states …

Courtney Concerned about Impact of Opening up Family Housing Projects to General Public

  • May 5, 2015
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The Defense Department would need to brief the House Armed Services Committee on the potential impacts to host communities of its policy of opening family housing projects to the general public when occupancy rates drop below certain levels. The request, an amendment to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill added during last week’s committee markup, directs DOD to focus on community impacts stemming from changes in the number of non-federally connected civilian children residing in military housing. Officials also should develop recommendations to mitigate possible community impacts. A growing number of installations recently have expanded eligibility to live in family housing projects to DOD civilians, military retirees, and in some cases, the public as occupancy rates have dropped due to cuts in end strength …

Panel Directs GAO to Study Impact of Deferred Maintenance on Readiness

  • May 4, 2015
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In response to concerns over DOD’s policy to stop fully funding facilities sustainment, the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee directs the Government Accountability Office to review the state of the department’s facility sustainment and recapitalization program, according to report language attached to the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The congressional watchdog agency should address: to what extent has DOD met its goals for sustainment and recapitalization of its facilities? what is known about the condition of facilities and the trend in conditions since fiscal 2011 …

Senate Panel to Take up Policy Bill Next Week

  • May 4, 2015
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The Senate Armed Services Committee, including its six subcommittees and the full committee, will mark up the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill next week. The Airland panel will mark up its portion of the annual policy bill next Monday, followed by the other five subcommittees on May 12. The Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee will be one of three panels that day to conduct its markup in an open session. The full committee will mark up the legislation behind closed doors beginning May 13 and plans to finish its business by the end of the week …

New Effort Advances to Ease HUBZone Requirements at BRAC Sites

  • May 3, 2015
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The House Armed Services Committee last week added language to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would make it easier for tenants located at closed installations to qualify for the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone program, the first step in the most recent effort by Maine’s congressional delegation to support the reuse project at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin sponsored the amendment which would allow a business to qualify for the HUBZone program — an initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas — if 35 percent of its employees live within a 25-mile radius of the closed installation. BRAC installations currently are designated as HUBZones for five years after they are formally closed. For a particular business to qualify for the program, however, 35 percent of its employees must live on the closed base, a threshold that is virtually unattainable …

Panel Votes to Rescue A-10 Fleet before Completing Authorization Bill Markup

  • April 30, 2015
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After more than 18 hours of deliberations, the House Armed Services Committee early Thursday morning approved the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill by a 60-2 vote. The legislation, which authorizes $523 billion in national security spending and $89 billion in funding for DOD’s overseas contingency operations account, now heads to the House floor later this month, reported the Hill. The measure rejects a number of cost-cutting reforms proposed by the Pentagon, including a request to hold a BRAC round in 2017, plans to trim support for commissaries and housing allowances for troops, and retiring the A-10 close air support jet …

BRAC Needed Now, Bipartisan Coalition of Defense Experts Tells Congress

  • April 30, 2015
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Citing rising threats around the globe and a military force declining in size and capability, a bipartisan coalition of 38 defense experts is urging congressional leaders to close unneeded bases, right-size the civilian workforce and modernize military pay and benefits. “Too much of the defense budget is currently consumed by institutional inefficiencies, some of which are mandated by law,” the experts wrote in an open letter to the defense committees and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. “As the U.S. military shrinks, it must reduce its inventory of physical infrastructure. Smaller budgets can no longer support paying for the operation of unnecessary facilities,” the letter states …

Committee Postpones Debate over BRAC

  • April 29, 2015
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One of the most prominent supporters of the Pentagon’s request to conduct a new round of base closures withdrew an amendment Wednesday during deliberations over the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would have authorized a BRAC round in 2017, as the Obama administration has requested. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, intends to bring up the amendment on the floor when the House debates the authorization bill. The legislation marked up Wednesday explicitly bars DOD from carrying out a new BRAC round. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the committee’s Readiness Subcommittee, and full Committee Chair Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) oppose the administration’s request for additional base closures, citing the overwhelming challenge of reopening a base once it is shuttered …

Smith to Introduce BRAC Authorization Amendment Again

  • April 28, 2015
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For the second consecutive year, Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, plans to offer an amendment to the annual defense policy bill approving a new round of base closures. As Smith did last year, he plans to introduce the amendment when the committee marks up the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill today, but withdraw it in the hopes of receiving a vote on the House floor, reported CQ Roll Call. Last year, however, the House Rules Committee blocked Smith’s proposal from receiving a vote when the House debated the measure. In addition to authorizing a BRAC round in 2017, the amendment is expected to include some reforms to the base closure process. For instance, it would require the defense secretary to certify that base closures would result in net savings within six years …

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