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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

House Panel Warns DOD against Closure Actions outside of BRAC

  • April 9, 2014
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The Defense Department should consult with lawmakers before attempting to carry out a closure or realignment outside of a BRAC round, the House Appropriations Committee directs the Pentagon in the report language accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The request was prompted by the committee’s concern that “the Department of Defense will authorize the closure of military installations under Title 10 U.S.C. 2687, without adequate congressional consultation,” the report states …

BRAC Is Only Way to Alleviate Excess Capacity, Hammack Tells Lawmakers

  • April 8, 2014
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The Army’s top installations official made the case for a new BRAC round during a Capitol Hill hearing last week, citing the service’s declining force structure and recent efforts to downsize its footprint in Europe. “The best and proven way to address excess and shortfalls in facility requirements in a cost-effective and fair manner is through the BRAC (base realignment and closure) Commission process,” said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment …

SASC Members Launch Effort to Reverse Spending Cuts

  • April 8, 2014
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Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee plan on holding informal discussions on ways to loosen the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps. Congress has provided partial relief to the automatic cuts in the first three years of sequestration, but starting in fiscal 2016 they are slated to be fully imposed, amounting to more than $50 billion in spending reductions annually. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said the committee is well-suited to tackle the issue because it’s bipartisan, broadly representative of both parties and more familiar with the impact of sequestration than other committees since DOD represents half of the spending cuts. Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) previously has talked about the effort. “I don’t know where it’s going. I just wanted to open up a discussion in the committee about what to do about sequester instead of just complaining about it,” King told the Hill on Tuesday.

Senators Consider House Plan to Study Army, Guard Changes

  • April 8, 2014
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Several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday signaled their support for a House bill that would create an independent commission to make recommendations about how the Army’s force structure should be allocated between the service’s active and reserve components. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), also would block the Army’s plan to transfer the National Guard’s 192 Apache attack helicopters to the active Army and replace them with 111 Black Hawk helicopters. The measure has the support of 41 Democrats and 111 Republicans …

Plan to Trim Commissary Benefits Troubles Military Families

  • April 6, 2014
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Military families across the spectrum of rank and income are concerned about the impact of the Defense Department’s proposal to drastically cut subsidies for military grocery stores, according to a new survey. Two-thirds of military families at pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000 said commissaries are a key part of their current compensation, according to the survey from the First Command Financial Behaviors Index. Three-quarters of respondents said eliminating the subsidies “would negatively impact their families …

Unfunded Priorities Lists Unlikely to Be Fulfilled

  • April 6, 2014
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The military services last week sent Congress a list of $36 billion worth of priorities not included in DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request, including significant amounts of funding for facility needs. The lists, requested by the House Armed Services Committee, stand little chance of being funded, though, as lawmakers are unlikely to revisit the FY 2015 spending caps included in last December’s budget agreement. “It is not going to happen,” said Gordon Adams, a Stimson Center analyst responsible for the defense budget during the Clinton administration …

Study on European Basing Consolidation Nears Completion

  • April 6, 2014
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The Pentagon’s comprehensive review of its European infrastructure, an initiative to create long-term savings by closing facilities and consolidating operations, is expected to be completed later this spring, the department’s top installations official testified last week. Officials had planned on finishing the analysis by the end of 2013, but the effort fell behind schedule as a result of the challenging nature of the “holistic, joint review,” employee furloughs and other constraints …

Appropriators Aim to Speed Progress on Spending Bills

  • April 3, 2014
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The House Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee advanced its draft fiscal 2015 spending measure Thursday, setting an early pace for enacting the federal government’s budget that House and Senate appropriators have pledged to maintain. House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said the subcommittee markups of the milcon and legislative branch spending bills were the earliest of any appropriations bill since 1974 …

Senate Panel Reiterates Opposition to BRAC Request

  • April 2, 2014
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The top two lawmakers on Senate Armed Services’ readiness subcommittee on Wednesday pushed back against the Pentagon’s request to hold a BRAC in 2017, repeating past criticism about the cost of the last round while questioning DOD’s contention that is has significant excess capacity. Subcommittee Chairwoman Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and ranking member Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) both opposed the department’s request last year for a new round and their stance seems to have changed very little since then …

House Republican Budget Would Restore Defense Spending

  • April 1, 2014
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The long-term spending plan unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Tuesday calls for defense spending to exceed Budget Control Act spending caps starting in fiscal 2016 and to return to pre-sequester levels by 2017. After FY 2015, the House Republican’s 10-year budget shifts more than $50 billion a year from domestic to defense spending, a move that guarantees the plan will be universally opposed by Democrats. Assuming the budget resolution passes the House, it almost certainly will not be reconciled with a Senate version as that chamber is not expected to move its own budget this year …

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