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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

Army Considers New Strategy for Preserving Industrial Base

  • July 8, 2014
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Amid a climate of declining budgets for weapons spending, officials at Army Materiel Command (AMC) are conducting a comprehensive assessment of the service’s industrial base to assure its long-term viability. Last week, AMC Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion and a team of logistics experts visited Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y., as part of a year-long initiative to visit the nation’s depots and arsenals to learn about the challenges facing them and craft a new strategy to take advantage of their unique capabilities …

Window for Senate to Move Spending Bills is Running Out

  • July 7, 2014
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The Senate has four weeks before Congress’ August recess to regain momentum on the fiscal 2015 appropriations process and avoid the need to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running past Sept. 30. No matter what, lawmakers will need to approve a stopgap funding bill to keep the doors open for most federal agencies at the start of the new fiscal year. But if Senate Republicans and Democrats can reach agreement on a small handful of next year’s appropriations bills, some agencies could get a full-year funding bill prior to Oct. 1 …

Budget Constraints Should Force DOD to Focus on Primary Foes, CSIS Concludes

  • July 6, 2014
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With the Pentagon’s budget slated to drop 21 percent from 2012 to 2021, the military’s priority should be to modernize its existing forces and to ensure it maintains its technological superiority in preparation for a conflict with Russia or China, according to a new study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Preparing for a “great power conflict” would mean maintaining its nuclear triad of long-range bombers, submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Such an approach also would call for an emphasis on special operations forces and heavy ground units, along with a focus on surveillance in air and space …

Senate Appropriations to Mark up Defense Bill Shortly

  • June 29, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill on July 17, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said last week. Mikulski said she delayed scheduling the markup until Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the defense panel’s ranking member, could return to Capitol Hill following his primary runoff, reported CQ. Cochran, who is line to replace Mikulski as committee chair if the Republicans gain control of the Senate in the midterm elections, defeated a tea party challenger last Tuesday in a very heated race. Postponing the markup also provides the committee time to consider the Pentagon’s request for the overseas contingency operations account, which it released Thursday.

Army Expands Scope of Basing Analysis beyond Operational Forces

  • June 29, 2014
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The Army assessment released last week of the impacts associated with trimming its active-duty end strength to 420,000 evaluates nine installations without significant operational forces that were not included in the analysis it completed last year before determining how it would shrink the service to 490,000 personnel. The 2013 analysis primarily focused on deactivating brigade combat teams at 21 candidate posts, but with the need to consider eliminating an additional 70,000 troops, officials expanded the latest assessment to its “generating force,” according to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) released Thursday by Army Environmental Command …

Power Plant Regulations at Heart of Senate Road Block on Spending Bills

  • June 26, 2014
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An effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to block a recent Environmental Protection Agency proposal regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants appears to be at the center of last week’s decision by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to suspend debate on a package of three fiscal 2015 spending bills. And while the two Senate leaders and appropriators are trying to restart the appropriations process, failure to break the impasse could mean that all of the momentum in both chambers to move spending bills according to regular order this year could be lost …

Army Analysis Describes Range of Impacts following Next Round of Troop Cuts

  • June 26, 2014
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The Army Thursday released an assessment of the potential economic impacts at 30 installations required before it makes specific basing decisions. The assessment builds on last year’s programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) which paved the way for the service to reduce its active-duty end strength from 570,000 to 490,000 soldiers. The latest analysis, a supplemental PEA, evaluates the environmental and socioeconomic impact of slashing an additional 70,000 personnel from the active-duty force, a move triggered by the stringent spending caps mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act …

Will Unfunded Milcon Requirements Harm Readiness, Authorization Committee Asks

  • June 25, 2014
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The Defense Department’s fiscal 2015 military construction request is 40 percent lower than it was in FY 2014, prompting the Senate Armed Services Committee to ask the department to assess the risk to readiness it is accepting by deferring many of its construction requirements. The panel said it was worried about the likely impact of curtailing milcon spending on the number of facilities in poor to failing condition, according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The committee is concerned that milcon cuts will ultimately lead to lasting negative impacts to our military’s readiness and their ability to effectively respond to crisis abroad and at home …

Spending on Unused Buildings Prohibited, under Appropriations Bill Amendment

  • June 22, 2014
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The Defense Department would be barred from spending money maintaining facilities it no longer uses, under an amendment intended to eliminate wasteful spending that was approved last week during House debate over the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. “With the Department of Defense managing hundreds, possibly thousands, of buildings and structures it has rated at zero percent utilization, this common sense measure could save the American taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in this year alone …

Hurdle in Senate over Appropriations Could Result in Stopgap for FY’15

  • June 22, 2014
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The roadblock the Senate encountered last week as it attempted to debate a package of three domestic spending bills raises the possibility that Congress will resort to a continuing resolution to fund the government at the start of the new fiscal year. While Senate leaders still have an opportunity to break the impasse over amendments that prompted Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to pull the fiscal 2015 “minibus” from the floor, if the chamber fails to clear any spending measures, a continuing resolution would be needed for all 12 of the annual spending bills …

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