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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

Republican Defense Leaders Reject Talk of Reversing Spending Cuts

  • February 27, 2014
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Pentagon officials’ hopes for securing relief from caps on defense spending in fiscal 2015 and beyond stand no chance of being realized, Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.) and Rep. Buck McKeon (Calif.) told reporters Thursday. In addition to rebuffing prospects for providing relief from sequester cuts scheduled to constrain defense spending through FY 2021, the top defense policy Republicans in Congress rejected the notion that lawmakers would agree to raise sufficient revenue in FY 2015 to pay for a $26 billion investment fund President Obama will propose as part of next year’s budget request …

BRAC Round Would Allow DOD to Downsize Civilian Workforce, Official Says

  • February 26, 2014
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The Defense Department has trimmed its civilian and contractor workforce as part an initiative to streamline its headquarters, but a significant reduction in the number of its civilian workers will require a new round of base closures, Acting Deputy Secretary Christine Fox said Tuesday. This year officials cut operating costs by 20 percent at headquarters offices across all services, agencies and combatant commands, saving about $5 billion. Much of the civilian workforce is employed outside Washington at installations, depots and shipyards, though, Fox said …

DOD’s Latest Spending Plan Could Spur Efforts for Further Sequestration Relief

  • February 26, 2014
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Defense hawks’ aversion to the cuts in force structure and military benefits outlined this week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel could prompt renewed discussions in Congress to reverse deep spending cuts scheduled to take effect between fiscal 2016 and 2021. “The first thing we’ve got to do is drive a stake in the heart of [Hagel's] ill-conceived and ill-designed proposal, and that means freeing up money” for defense spending, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said of the five-year spending plan unveiled Monday. “That means we need to get BCA [2011 Budget Control Act] relief or rearrange the pie …

Governors Fight Proposed Cuts to Army National Guard

  • February 25, 2014
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Despite recommending a smaller proportional cut on personnel in the Amy National Guard than on the active Army in its five-year budget, the Obama administration is taking flak from the nation’s governors for targeting soldiers and aircraft in the Guard. There’s “unanimity” against cuts among state executives gathered in Washington, D.C., for the National Governors Association’s winter meeting, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) told reporters Monday …

Pentagon Spending Plan Quickly Generates Capitol Hill Opposition

  • February 25, 2014
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Republican lawmakers largely denounced the cuts in force structure and changes in military benefits outlined Monday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, while Democrats mainly questioned some of the proposals in DOD’s five-year spending plan. “We are going to kill it, not let it happen,” vowed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “I just think it is taking the Army down to a level where you restrain your ability to fight the war that comes your way. The best way to fight a war is deterrence, and I think readiness at the number you are talking about, I just don’t think [the Army] is equipped for the threats you face …

FY ’15 Budget Reveals Scope of Cuts Needed to Address Spending Caps

  • February 25, 2014
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The Army’s active-duty end strength would be reduced to between 440,000 and 450,000 under the five-year budget proposal unveiled Monday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The long-term budget included with the fiscal 2015 budget request, the department’s first to fully reflect the transition DOD is making after 13 years of war, adheres to the spending caps in place next year but exceeds the Budget Control Act caps for the following four years by $115 billion. As a result, the Army would be forced to draw down to an end strength of 420,000 if sequester cuts are not reversed in FY 2016 …

‘Shadow BRAC’ is the Immediate Threat to Bases, Washington Insider Says

  • February 23, 2014
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While the next BRAC round could come as early as 2017, the immediate threat to defense communities are smaller cuts and realignments that don’t require a formal base closure round to go forward, the president of a Washington public affairs firm said last week during a meeting of the local support group for Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. “The more scary thing to me is what I have been calling the shadow BRAC,” Barry Rhoads, president of Cassidy and Associates, told Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow. “We’re undergoing shadow BRACs as we speak. That’s actually no notification of Congress …

Army Corps Looks to Remake Itself, Chief Engineer Says

  • February 20, 2014
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The Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will need to refashion itself as the surge in spending on military construction since 2001 comes to end and headquarters’ staffs are required to be streamlined, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, the Corps’ commander, said this week.

The Corps “executed an extraordinarily large military program” in the last decade, worth nearly $30 billion at its peak in 2008, Bostick told the Army News Service. The work supported the 2005 round of BRAC, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act work in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other efforts …

Wish List Could Encourage Lawmakers to Tinker with DOD’s Budget Request

  • February 20, 2014
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The Defense Department’s intent to attach a $26 billion list of unfunded requirements to its fiscal 2015 budget request could have unintended consequences, as appropriators swap out programs included in the administration’s proposal for favored programs that failed to make the cut. Including a list of second-tier priorities with the budget request also could embolden service chiefs to push Congress to fund programs that were left out of DOD’s baseline spending plan …

Retreat on Military Pension Cuts Raises Bar for Future Budget Reform

  • February 18, 2014
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Congress’ relatively quick reversal of a reduction in cost-of-living increases for military pensions included in last December’s budget deal almost certainly means the Pentagon will not have the upper hand when it floats future proposals to rein in its burgeoning personnel costs. After the House and Senate approved the bipartisan budget agreement late last year, some analysts expressed optimism that lawmakers’ willingness to trim the growth rate of pensions for military retirees of working age was a signal that DOD would be able to implement other cuts needed to keep compensation and benefit costs from spiraling out of control …

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