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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

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 …

Pentagon Spending on Path to Bust Budget Caps, CBO Finds

  • November 6, 2014
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Pentagon spending is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 1.2 percent over the next 15 years, resulting in a 20 percent increase in the defense budget by 2030, according to a report released Thursday by the Congressional Budget Office. The largest components of the DOD budget would grow by different amounts, however. The cost of operation and support, which accounts for about two-thirds of the department’s FY 2015 budget, would rise steadily through 2030, with average growth of 1.1 percent a year in real terms and cumulative growth of 18 percent. The growth in operation and support — which includes compensation for the department’s military and civilian employees, military health care, and various operation and maintenance activities — would occur despite a 6 percent decrease in the size of the military …

Changes at the Top of Senate Milcon Spending Panel

  • November 6, 2014
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With Republicans in control of the Senate when the 114th Congress opens in January, the chamber’s Appropriations Committee will get new leadership. At the top, Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) likely will replace Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) as chairman of the full committee. Cochrane will use his seniority on the committee to leapfrog the current ranking member, Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), reports CQ. Cochran, who chaired the full committee in the 109th Congress, also is expected to retain the gavel for the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee …

Congressional Staff Continue to Work toward Omnibus Spending Bill

  • November 5, 2014
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House and Senate Appropriations staffers continue to lay the groundwork for a fiscal 2015 omnibus spending bill to wrap up appropriations though next Oct. 1. But while Republican leaders in the House and Senate favor an omnibus to clear the decks for a GOP-led Congress next January, it’s still not clear whether House Republicans will go along with that approach. With Republicans increasing their House majority and gaining control of the Senate in Tuesday’s elections, conservatives likely will push for a second continuing resolution so they can rewrite bills in the new Congress to reflect GOP priorities …

Hagel Can Work with McCain, Pentagon Spokesman Says

  • November 4, 2014
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With Republicans poised to wrest control of the Senate, the Pentagon press secretary on Tuesday said that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has a strong relationship with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is widely expected to take the gavel of the Senate Armed Services Committee if the GOP wins a majority of the chamber. “The secretary has a good relationship with many members of Congress, and I believe that he believes that relationship with Sen. McCain is also strong and productive, and it has been,” Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters. “And it has to be, given Sen. McCain’s position on the Senate Armed Services Committee …

Republican Control of Congress May Not Result in Raising Spending Caps

  • November 4, 2014
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Despite traditional support from the Republican Party for national defense, the GOP’s predicted capture of the Senate may not result in congressional action to lift the Budget Control Act spending caps on defense starting in fiscal 2016. While Republican appropriators and defense hawks, along with many Democrats, have urged repealing the 2011 law, a deficit reduction deal that satisfies both conservatives and President Obama is unlikely, reports CQ Roll Call. The White House would continue to insist on a deal that relaxes the caps on all discretionary spending, while Republicans would demand concessions to reform entitlement programs …

Republican Leaders Favor Omnibus to Wrap up Spending Bills

  • November 2, 2014
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GOP congressional leaders have indicated they would like to pass a fiscal 2015 omnibus spending bill during the lame duck session so that the 114th Congress can start the year with a clean slate. Party leaders are particularly focused on the likelihood that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will become majority leader in January. “We need to do an omnibus bill funding the entire government for the rest of the year, and get that whole business behind us, so that come January, [McConnell] will have a clean slate rather than looking backwards to old fights [so] we could look forward to making positive changes,” said House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) …

Association Executives Press Levin to Reverse Spending Cuts

  • November 2, 2014
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Two Washington advocacy groups last week wrote Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, urging him to lift spending caps that will harm Army readiness and jeopardize its ability to protect the nation. “The continued effects of sequestration on the Department of Defense will cause the Army, Active, Guard and Reserve to fall into unreadiness,” wrote Gordon Sullivan, president and CEO of Association of the U.S. Army, and Gus Hargett, president of the National Guard Association of the United States. Unless Congress steps in, the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps will reduce the Army to 420,000 active soldiers, 315,000 National Guard members and 185,000 in the Army Reserve, “the smallest ground forces since 1940 …

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