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Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

Senate Debate on Authorization Bill Marked by Quarrel over Budget Caps

  • June 5, 2015
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The possibility that Senate Democrats may filibuster the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill loomed over a debate Thursday stuck on the dispute over the measure’s heavy reliance on DOD’s war account to sidestep stringent spending caps. While some Democrats have indicated they will try to stop appropriations measures from advancing in the Senate, they have not yet settled on a strategy for the annual defense policy bill, reported CQ Roll Call. The authorization bill employs the House-Senate budget framework that adds $38 billion to the department’s overseas contingency operations account, which is exempt from the caps, to meet the Pentagon’s base budget request …

Administration Criticizes Senate Bill for Pursuing Privatization of Commissaries

  • June 4, 2015
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The White House this week said it opposes provisions in the Senate’s draft of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would test the feasibility of privatizing military grocery stores. The bill, S. 1376, calls for the Defense Department to develop a plan to privatize the Defense Commissary Agency, wholly or in part. It also directs the Governmental Accountability Office to assess the potential costs and benefits of privatizing the entire network of commissaries and determining whether any barriers exist to privatizing the commissary system. Following the GAO study, DOD would be required to privatize at least five commissaries under a two-year pilot program to evaluate the feasibility of its privatization plan. The White House, though, is critical of the Senate proposal …

Senate Passes Provision to Fortify Reserve Airlift Unit at Ft. Bragg

  • June 4, 2015
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Lawmakers debating the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill in the Senate Thursday passed an amendment that would not only stop the Air Force from carrying out its plan to deactivate Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing, but also replace its C-130 transport aircraft with upgraded models. The amendment, introduced by North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R) and co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.), would relocate nine previously upgraded C-130H aircraft to Pope Field at Fort Bragg to directly support the daily training and contingency requirements of the XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and Army Special Operations Command. The nine aircraft would replace the six older C-130Hs now operated by the Air Force Reserve unit that are slated to be removed …

White House Objects to Language Mandating Personnel Cuts in Senate Bill

  • June 4, 2015
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The Obama administration said it opposes a section in the Senate’s fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would streamline the Defense Department in an attempt to eliminate unnecessary overhead because it would force the Pentagon to impose “deep, across-the-board cuts.” The Senate measure, S. 1376, calls for reducing funding for headquarters and administrative functions for military services, defense agencies, combatant commands, the office of the secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff by 7.5 percent for four years, totaling 30 percent by the fourth year. The cuts would yield $1.7 billion in savings in FY 2016 and recurring savings of $6.8 billion per year by the fourth year. The savings would be funneled to operations and readiness, according to the Senate Armed Services Committee …

Battle Lines Drawn over Commissary Funding

  • June 4, 2015
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The fiscal 2016 defense spending bill approved Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee would restore $322 million DOD had proposed to cut from the Defense Commissary Agency’s budget as an initial step to scaling back the federal subsidy for military grocery stores. The cuts would force U.S. commissaries to be operated more like a business, forcing them to reduce customer discounts, as well as trim staff, store hours and the days stores are open. The Senate Armed Services Committee, however, adopted the department’s proposal to slash funding for commissaries in its draft FY 2016 defense authorization bill, raising the chances that the two chambers will need to find a compromise when they hash out next year’s defense budget …

White House Highlights Need for BRAC in Veto Threat over Senate Measure

  • June 3, 2015
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The Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday cited the lack of language authorizing a new BRAC round as one of the key factors that could prompt President Obama to veto the Senate version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. OMB’s “Statement of Administration Policy” echoed the veto threat the agency issued last month in response to the House version of the policy bill. Both statements highlighted the need for a BRAC round and the bills’ reliance on DOD’s war account to boost its budget rather than raising the Budget Control Act spending caps as issues that would need to be resolved before the president would sign the legislation …

Senate to Take up Authorization Bill Today

  • June 2, 2015
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The Senate plans to begin consideration of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill Wednesday during a debate that could take more than a week. On Tuesday, Jack Reed (D-R.I.), ranking member on Senate Armed Services, said Democrats likely would not block consideration of the annual policy bill over its reliance on DOD’s overseas contingency operations account to evade the statutory spending caps. Democrats, along with the White House, are opposed to the maneuver, which would shield the Pentagon’s budget from the spending limits but offer no relief for domestic agencies …

Defense Industry Adjustment Program Would Be Eliminated under Senate Policy Bill

  • May 28, 2015
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DOD’s program for supporting communities coping with the cancellation of a defense contract or a major reduction in defense spending would be eliminated under the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 14. The committee calls for stripping out $33.1 million from the Pentagon’s $110.6 million FY 2016 budget request for the Office of Economic Adjustment that would fund the agency’s defense industry adjustment program. The committee also recommended stripping out $20.0 million from the request for civilian water and wastewater infrastructure improvements needed on Guam to accommodate an influx of Marines …

Senate Committee to Conduct Comprehensive Review of Military Forces, Capabilities

  • May 26, 2015
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DOD infrastructure will be one of a multitude of issues the Senate Armed Services Committee intends to dive into during a far-reaching, 18-month review of the roles, capabilities and size of the armed forces prompted by the evolving threats posed by a handful of powerful adversaries. “In short, for the first time in three decades, the United States faces a potential turning point where our nation’s long-standing military advantages threaten to be eroded by new shifts in the balance of military power,” the committee states in its report accompanying the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, S. 1376. The comprehensive assessment will look at force structure and posture, and overseas basing and infrastructure, among other topics …

Senate Bill Embraces DOD’s Commissary Reforms

  • May 25, 2015
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The Senate Armed Services Committee adopted the Defense Department’s proposal to slash funding for commissaries by $322 million as an initial step to scaling back the federal subsidy for military grocery stores, under the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill the panel approved May 14. DOD’s cost-cutting plan would trim the overall savings for military families and veterans from an average of 30 percent to 28 percent, reported Stars and Stripes. More than half of the savings — representing a 23 percent funding cut for the Defense Commissary Agency — would come from operating efficiencies, including reducing staff, store hours and the days stores are open …

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