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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

Budget Agreement Headed for Passage in Senate

  • December 17, 2013
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The Senate on Tuesday approved a procedural vote to end debate on the two-year budget agreement, paving the way for the chamber to approve the deal on Wednesday. Twelve Republicans joined all 55 Democrats and independents in supporting the cloture vote, reported the Hill. Final passage requires only a simple majority …

GOP Armed Services Leaders Urge Colleagues to Support Authorization Bill

  • December 16, 2013
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Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), the top two Republicans on the Armed Services Committee, are asking their colleagues to help clear the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill this week. In a letter to the Republican conference, the lawmakers say that passing the bill before the Senate leaves Capitol Hill this week is the only way to ensure the annual policy bill becomes law for the 52nd consecutive year …

Appropriators Start to Resolve Differences over Competing Versions of Spending Bills

  • December 16, 2013
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Appropriators from both chambers have started meeting to hash out compromise fiscal 2014 spending bills in anticipation that last week’s budget deal is enacted. Appropriators plan to work out individual spending plans for most, but not all, of the 12 measures and package them into an omnibus bill. Spending bills with the broadest support — including defense, military construction-veterans affairs and homeland security — almost definitely would be included in the omnibus individually …

Senate to Take up Budget Agreement, Defense Bill This Week

  • December 16, 2013
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Despite public opposition from Republican lawmakers, the Senate this week is expected to approve key agreements unveiled over the past seven days — a budget agreement setting topline spending for fiscal 2014 and 2015, and a compromise version of this year’s defense authorization bill. The chamber likely would hold a vote to limit debate on the budget deal Tuesday, with final action expected by Wednesday. Many GOP senators oppose the deal for suspending a portion of the spending caps imposed under sequestration, but the overwhelming 332-94 vote last week in the Republican-controlled House to pass the budget framework will make it difficult for Senate Republicans to block the legislation …

Long-Term Need to Trim Force Structure Remains despite Sequester Relief, Air Force Says

  • December 15, 2013
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The bipartisan budget deal reached last week will help the Air Force mitigate urgent readiness problems, but long-term budget constraints still will force officials to reduce the size of the service’s forces, the Air Force’s top two officials said Friday. “Even with this relief, we will need to re-size the Air Force to one that is smaller than it is today in order to protect investments we need for the future, and to shape an Air Force that we can keep ready,” acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning told reporters at a Pentagon news briefing …

Hagel Praises Sequester Relief included in Budget Deal

  • December 12, 2013
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday applauded this week’s budget agreement for restoring much-needed funds to military readiness accounts and supporting planning efforts over the next two years. “While this agreement doesn’t solve every budget problem facing DOD, it will help address our military readiness challenge by restoring funding for training and procurement — especially in fiscal year 2014,” Hagel said …

Authorization Bill Likely to Advance in Senate, Inhofe Says

  • December 12, 2013
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Despite a groundswell of resistance among Senate Republicans to supporting the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, there is sufficient backing in the party’s caucus to clear the compromise measure crafted by committee leaders, James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday. Opposition to the legislation in the Senate stems from the dispute over how many amendments Republicans would be allowed to bring up when the bill came to the floor prior to Thanksgiving. Party leaders could not reach an agreement, prompting Armed Services committee leaders from both chambers to hash out a “pre-conferenced” measure over the past several weeks …

Budget Deal Imposes Reality on Defense Appropriators

  • December 11, 2013
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Tuesday’s budget deal would greatly benefit defense programs by erasing $20 billion in additional sequester cuts scheduled to go into effect next month, but it also means House and Senate appropriators will need to adhere to the adjusted spending caps for DOD included in the agreement. The fiscal 2014 defense spending bills drafted in the House and Senate, as well as the Pentagon’s budget request, all ignored the likelihood that sequestration would be triggered for a second straight year and called for funding that exceeded the Budget Control Act spending caps by about $50 billion …

Opposition from Senate Republicans Could Stall Defense Bill

  • December 11, 2013
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A number of Senate Republicans have indicated they might not support the compromise version of the defense authorization bill unveiled by House and Senate Armed Services committee leaders Monday, raising doubt as to whether Congress can clear the legislation before the end of the year. The lawmakers’ opposition stems from last month’s dispute between the two parties as to how many amendments would receive votes when the annual policy bill went to the Senate floor. The two sides failed to come to an agreement, stalling debate on the bill prior to Thanksgiving and forcing the committee leaders to work out a “pre-conferenced” bill behind closed doors …

For Pentagon, Budget Deal Would Avoid Worsening Automatic Spending Cuts

  • December 11, 2013
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Defense officials would not need to find additional budget savings in fiscal 2014 and 2015 under the budget deal reached Tuesday, but they still would need to contend with sequester cuts in line with those imposed last year. On the one hand, the Defense Department would earn a reprieve from $22 billion in automatic cuts in the current year, erasing a $20 billion increase in the sequester scheduled to hit in January. But officials still would need to identify about $32 billion in savings from its FY 2014 budget request, however, as its $552 billion proposal was $54 billion above the spending cap …

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