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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

Milcon Spending Bill Advances in House

  • April 22, 2015
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The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a $76.6 billion fiscal 2016 spending bill for military construction and veterans affairs that provides a significant boost for military construction and family housing after spending on those programs dropped about one-third in the current year. Under the bill, military construction and family housing spending would rise $900 million over FY 2015 levels to $7.7 billion. The House’s proposal, however, still falls short of the Obama administration’s request for $8.4 billion in FY 2016. Milcon funding dropped in the current year as DOD opted to defer a portion of its construction program to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness …

Budget Conferees Make Case for Pentagon Spending

  • April 20, 2015
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Republican lawmakers highlighted the importance of funding defense programs at the initial meeting Monday of the House-Senate budget conference, signaling the likelihood that the compromise fiscal 2016 budget resolution will satisfy defense hawks. “The world is just more dangerous today than it was in 2011 when we passed the Budget Control Act,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, a member of the Armed Services Committee. In their budget blueprints, both chambers added $38 billion in spending to DOD’s overseas contingency operations account as a way of sidestepping the statutory ceiling on defense spending in FY 2016 …

House Appropriators Plan to Allocate Extra War Funds

  • April 19, 2015
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The House Appropriations Committee plans to allocate the $38 billion in funding added to DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account in an effort to sidestep the statutory cap on defense spending, according to the committee’s draft spending allocations. The committee’s fiscal 2016 spending plan includes $96 billion for OCO, with $88.4 billion allocated for the defense spending measure, $532 million for military construction and $7.1 billion for the State Department’s budget …

Subcommittee Chairman Appears to Favor Consolidation Plan for Exchanges, Commissaries

  • April 19, 2015
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After gaining support among top DOD leaders, a plan to consolidate the military’s commissary and exchange systems now may be favored by a key lawmaker responsible for personnel policy. Rep. Joe Heck, chairman of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, has been reviewing the report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which in January called for consolidating DOD’s three exchange services with the Defense Commissary Agency into a single Defense Resale Activity …

Procedural Hurdle to Extra Defense Spending May Not Survive Compromise Budget Talks

  • April 16, 2015
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The compromise version of the fiscal 2016 budget resolution may jettison a procedural hurdle that could block the Senate from allocating $38 billion in extra funding stashed in DOD’s overseas contingency operations account (OCO). The funds were added to the war account in both chambers’ budget blueprints as a way of eluding the $523 billion Budget Control Act cap on national security spending. The Senate’s version, though, includes a point of order on spending from the OCO that exceeds $58 billion, the original amount requested by the Obama administration …

Arizona Lawmaker Fighting to Save the A-10

  • April 16, 2015
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Arizona Rep. Martha McSally is working with fellow lawmakers and Republican leaders to find $500 million to keep the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 attack jets in service. One year after Congress offered the A-10 a temporary reprieve from an Air Force plan to retire the fleet, the first-term lawmaker is crafting language for the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill to keep the Warthog flying. “I feel like I have made a very strong case and I believe that the leadership understands the importance of the A-10, so now we’re doing the sausage-making to make sure that happens …

Authorization Bill Would Allow Pentagon to Use Extra War Funds, Defense Chairs Say

  • April 14, 2015
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The heads of the House and Senate Armed Services committees plan to include language in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would allow defense officials to use funds in the department’s war funding account for base budget operations. The remarks of John McCain (R-Ariz.), Senate Armed Services chairman, and Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), House Armed Services chairman, address the question of whether congressional Republicans’ plan to sidestep the statutory cap on defense spending by adding funds to DOD’s overseas contingency operations account (OCO) will achieve the desired result. The FY 2016 budget resolutions advanced in both chambers would allocate $38 billion more than the $58 billion requested for the OCO account by the administration …

Nation Can’t Afford to Punt on BRAC, Texas Lawmaker Says

  • April 13, 2015
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Count Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) as one of the few lawmakers willing to let the Pentagon launch a sixth round of base closures. For the second-term lawmaker, the logic is relatively simple — with new threats emerging across the globe, DOD should be allowed to save money from weapons and installations it no longer needs so it can afford to preserve its existing end strength. “What you shouldn’t cut are personnel,” O’Rourke, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told El Paso Inc. He certainly understands why BRAC is hugely unpopular in Congress, but lawmakers can’t afford to ignore officials saying the military has about 20 percent excess infrastructure capacity. “I don’t want to continue to subsidize bases and installations that are not performing …

McCain to Seek Sixth Senate Term

  • April 7, 2015
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John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced Tuesday he will run for a sixth term in the Senate, paving the way for Congress’ most ardent defense hawk to remain at the helm of the chamber’s Armed Services Committee beyond 2016. McCain, who will be 80 on Election Day in 2016, likely will face a more conservative opponent in the Republican primary but with his long-standing popularity and strong fundraising ability, it will be difficult to topple him, reported Stars and Stripes. “The reality is I think it is going to be very hard to push him out,” said Gordon Adams, a professor of foreign policy at American University …

Garrison Commanders Grapple with Budget Constraints

  • April 7, 2015
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At a two-day conference for Army garrison commanders and command sergeants major last month, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment, addressed the challenge of running an installation amid tight fiscal constraints. “We have to weigh risks daily,” Hammack said. “What’s acceptable loss? Compare loss of life to buildings that decay a little faster … grass that grows a little higher? Gen. Halverson and I are okay with the grass growing higher if it means that the troops are trained, ready and properly equipped …

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