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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

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 …

Optimism over Spending Bills Dims after Senate Dispute

  • June 19, 2014
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Apparent momentum in Congress to pass individual spending bills through regular order took a wrong turn Thursday after the Senate suspended debate on a package of three spending bills after the two parties failed to reach agreement on dealing with amendments. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled the fiscal 2015 “minibus” — made up of the Commerce-Justice-Science, Transportation-HUD and Agriculture measures — from the Senate floor after Republicans scoffed at Reid’s insistence on a 60-vote threshold to pass amendments …

House Votes to Oppose BRAC, Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • June 19, 2014
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In two votes that succinctly summarize the challenge the Pentagon faces in planning for mandated budget cuts, House lawmakers voted Thursday night to bar DOD from spending any funds to plan for or carry out another BRAC round, and to prevent it from implementing the Air Force’s proposal to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. The two votes came during House debate of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. Final passage of the bill is expected today …

Despite Long Odds, BRAC Still Worth Fighting For, James Says

  • June 18, 2014
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Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James is pessimistic about the prospect that Congress will approve the Pentagon’s request for a new BRAC round in 2017, but believes DOD will continue trying to persuade lawmakers of its importance at a time when it is coping with stringent spending caps. “As a person who came out of business, the last things a corporation would do is spend money on facilities that are no longer needed,” James told defense reporters Wednesday. “You would never, never, never run a business this way. I realize government is not a business. But there are certain principles [that] make good common sense …

White House Opposes Defense Spending Bill over BRAC, Compensation Reform

  • June 17, 2014
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The White House on Tuesday said it “strongly opposes” House passage of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill over its failure to include a variety of cost-saving reforms, but fell short of issuing a veto threat. “Without congressional support for meaningful compensation reforms and other cost-saving measures, force structure changes, and flexibility to manage weapon systems and infrastructure, there is an increased risk to the department’s ability to implement the president’s defense strategy, which will contribute to a military that will be less capable of responding effectively to future challenges …

Emboldened Tea Party Republicans Could Slow Progress on Spending Bills

  • June 15, 2014
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With Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the favorite to replace Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as House majority leader following his stunning primary defeat last week, House leadership’s goal of passing all 12 individual spending bills before the new fiscal year begins seemingly will remain on track. McCarthy, an establishment Republican, supported the December budget deal relaxing Budget Control Act spending caps for fiscal 2014 and 2015 and, as result, favors the overall spending levels reflected in next year’s appropriations bills over the option of a continuing resolution …

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