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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

House Republicans Retain Earmark Ban

  • November 16, 2014
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House Republicans on Friday rejected a proposal to relax the conference’s earmark ban by allowing funds to be directed for specific projects to states, localities, public utilities and other public entities. The rules change, proposed by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), was rejected overwhelmingly, reported the Hill. “We had a very vigorous discussion. There’s no change in our policy; the ban stills exists,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) …

House Republicans Split over Way Forward on FY’15 Spending

  • November 13, 2014
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Following a strategy meeting Thursday, the House GOP conference appeared divided over whether to pursue a fiscal 2015 omnibus spending bill or another short-term continuing resolution to keep the federal government open when the existing stopgap runs out Dec. 11. “I don’t think a full-year omnibus makes much sense, but there was no decision in there. Nobody wants a shutdown,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), adopting a stance popular among conservatives who would like to wait until the Republican Party controls both the House and Senate before making final decisions regarding FY 2015 spending …

Lawmakers Shoot Down Air Force Compromise over A-10 Retirements

  • November 13, 2014
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Congressional advocates of the A-10 Warthog likely will reject an Air Force compromise to retire only 72 of the close air support aircraft, based on comments made Thursday at a media event rallying support for the aircraft. “I’ll give them this, they’re persistent,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said of the Air Force’s offer to retire only part of its A-10 Warthog fleet. “And even when they have heard directly from both bodies, they have continued to push this retirement, despite the fact that we are going to have a gap in capability at a time when the world has become even more dangerous for those who serve us on the ground …

Conservatives Could Upset Plans for an Omnibus

  • November 12, 2014
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The staffs of the House and Senate Appropriations committees are continuing to work toward an early December deadline to complete a fiscal 2015 omnibus spending bill for the entire federal government, but at the same time conservative lawmakers may act to disrupt those plans. The latest hurdle standing in the way of an omnibus is an effort by conservatives to include language blocking the president from taking executive action on immigration. Rep. Matt Salmon (R- Ariz.) has attracted the signature of 50 colleagues on a letter asking appropriators to include language barring the use of funds to carry out an executive order …

Air Force Offers Compromise over A-10 Fleet Retirement

  • November 12, 2014
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Air Force leaders have broached the possibility of retiring only 72 A-10 close air support aircraft during fiscal 2015 in response to Congress’ rejection of its proposal to retire its entire fleet of Warthogs. During briefings on Capitol Hill, Air Force officials said they urgently need this limited retirement so they can shift maintenance crews from A-10 units to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Unless the service is allowed to retire three active-duty squadrons, it may not be able to meet the planned Aug. 1, 2016, operational date for the F-35A …

McCain Looks to Reverse Sequestration

  • November 12, 2014
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The incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee said Wednesday that eliminating the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on the Pentagon will be one of his top priorities. “As far as the military is concerned, the blow is too big … and with the world changing as it is, it’s really too biting,” John McCain (R-Ariz.), told reporters. McCain indicated he would hold hearings on the impact of the stringent spending caps. “We’ll be hearing from our services chiefs about how really biting this is …

Authorization Bill Remains on Path to Informal Conference

  • November 12, 2014
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With staff from the House and Senate Armed Services committees having reconciled many of the differences between competing versions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, the committees’ leadership this week will begin to hash out the higher profile issues that have not yet been settled. The committees’ chairmen, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), and ranking members, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), will focus on more contentious issues affecting the future of the A-10 Warthog aircraft, the Army National Guard helicopter fleet and a Navy initiative to modernize its cruiser fleet. The panels’ best bet for clearing the annual defense policy bill during the lame duck session starting today almost certainly will be to repeat last year’s maneuver …

Reversing Sequestration Missing from Republican Agenda

  • November 11, 2014
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The Republican landslide last week that allowed the party to seize control of the Senate and increase its majority in the House for the most part did not emphasize the tenets of the tea party and its philosophy of slashing government programs, with many of the winners abiding by traditional Republican values such as a strong military. “The isolationist wing of the GOP that favored deficit reduction over a strong defense seems to be in retreat,” Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute, told Defense News. Despite a shift that would seem to favor defense hawks, however, Republican leaders in both chambers last week did not mention relaxing the Budget Control Act spending caps on defense as one of their priorities for the 114th Congress …

Omnibus Spending Bill Will Not Come out until December

  • November 10, 2014
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An omnibus spending bill needed to keep the government running through next Oct. 1 likely won’t be released until early December, according to House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing. The fiscal 2015 spending measure likely would be released the week of Dec. 8, reported the Hill. The timing would give lawmakers very little time to debate and vote on the legislation, as the existing continuing resolution runs out Dec. 11. Of course, lawmakers could pass another short-term stopgap measure to give themselves more time to clear an end-of-the-year omnibus …

Congressional Leaders Favor Omnibus

  • November 9, 2014
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Congressional leaders from both parties attending a White House lunch Friday agreed that lawmakers should advance an omnibus spending bill during the lame duck session to wrap up fiscal 2015 appropriations, reported the Hill. “There were areas of significant agreement I think — the agreement that we want to do an omnibus and wanted to do that hopefully by Dec. 11 — completing the funding for this year’s operations of funding,” House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” Appropriators in both chambers have been pushing to move a package of the 12 individual spending bills, and staffers have been laying the groundwork for an omnibus over the past months …

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