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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

Ft. Bragg Airlift Wing Earns Temporary Reprieve in Policy Bill

  • January 7, 2015
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The Air Force will not be able deactivate the 440th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field, as soon it had planned as a result of language in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill sponsored last year by then-Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). An amendment halting all C-130H and C-130J aircraft transfers until 60 days after the Air Force issues a report outlining a justification of its decision that was added to the Senate version of the measure was included in the compromise legislation enacted last month. The language also calls for the Government Accountability Office to review the Air Force report …

New Players Mean Budget Deal Remains a Long Shot

  • January 5, 2015
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With new lawmakers heading up the House and Senate Budget committees in the 114th Congress, the likelihood that Congress is able to duplicate the late-2013 agreement that lifted the fiscal 2014 and 2015 defense spending caps by a total of $31 billion appears remote. That deal was negotiated by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), but both are moving to new committee assignments this year. At this point, it’s not entirely clear how their replacements, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), plan on addressing sequestration. If Congress does not revise the 2011 Budget Control Act, the topline for defense spending would rise only $1.7 billion to $523 billion in FY 2016 …

Commission to Focus on Modernizing Military Benefits, Not Slashing Them

  • January 5, 2015
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The recommendations of a nine-member commission established by Congress to review military compensation will focus on updating pay and benefits offered by the military so they are more appropriate for 21st Century personnel, rather than trimming them, according to a spokesman for the panel. “It’s fair to say we have identified a number of efficiencies,” Jamie Graybeal, spokesman for the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, told the Hill last week. The commission’s chief aim was to preserve the all-volunteer force by improving benefits not valued by service members and eliminating redundancies …

FY’16 Appropriations Expected to Follow More Torturous Path

  • December 16, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 omnibus spending package cleared by Congress this past week experienced its share of twists and turns as elements of both parties attempted to remove objectionable provisions, but on the whole its passage represented a mostly bipartisan process that likely won’t be duplicated in the 114th Congress. Negotiations over the “CRomnibus” did not focus on spending allocations because that issue already had been settled last year as part of the budget deal between Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that relaxed the defense and non-defense spending caps for FY 2014 and 2015 …

FY’15 Omnibus Spending Bill Crosses the Finish Line

  • December 14, 2014
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Congress on Saturday night wrapped up work on fiscal 2015 appropriations for all agencies except for the Department of Homeland Security, after the Senate cleared the $1.1 trillion “CRomnibus” spending package 56-40. President Obama has indicated he will sign the spending package — new funding blueprints for 11 of the 12 annual appropriations titles through Sept. 30, 2015, and a continuing resolution (CR) for Homeland Security through Feb. 27 — by Wednesday when the current stopgap runs out …

Senate Sends Defense Bill to President

  • December 14, 2014
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The Senate approved the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill Friday and sent it to the president’s desk, marking the 53rd straight year Congress has approved the annual defense policy bill. The measure, which allocates $496 billion for DOD’s base budget and $64 billion for overseas contingency operations, rejects or scales back many of the Pentagon’s major cost-saving reforms affecting military compensation and force structure. The bill, H.R. 3979, makes only a moderate concession to the Air Force proposal to retire its fleet of 283 A-10 close air support aircraft …

‘CRomnibus’ Clears House in Close Vote

  • December 11, 2014
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After almost collapsing due to Democratic opposition, the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill passed the House Thursday night 219-206, averting what likely would have meant Congress passing a short-term continuing resolution (CR) allowing Republicans to have the last word on fiscal 2015 appropriations early next year. The House also passed a two-day CR to give the Senate time to debate the spending package, as the existing stopgap was set to run out at midnight Thursday. The Senate was expected to pass the two-day CR before midnight to avoid a government shutdown. The chamber planned to take up the year-long spending bill beginning on Friday …

House Expected to Approve FY’15 Spending Package

  • December 10, 2014
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Despite opposition from both conservatives and liberals, the House appears poised to pass the $1.1 trillion spending package on Thursday that would fund all government agencies except for the Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of fiscal 2015. House leaders will be relying on a significant number of Democratic votes as at least 50 Republicans are expected to oppose the “CRomnibus” because it fails to block President Obama’s executive actions to shield up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation …

Commissaries Earn Reprieve in Omnibus

  • December 10, 2014
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The massive omnibus spending bill unveiled Tuesday would restore most of the $100 million cut in the federal subsidy for military grocery stores included in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, a move that should ensure commissary operations remain at current levels. The FY 2015 omnibus, which would fund almost all government agencies through next September, would restore $90 million of the proposed reduction, reports Stars and Stripes. As a result, service members, their family members and veterans should not see a reduction in the discounts offered at the stores …

Congressional Leaders Reach Deal on Compromise Spending Bill

  • December 9, 2014
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Congressional leaders Tuesday night unveiled a $1.1 trillion spending package that includes fiscal 2015 appropriations bills for all government agencies except for the Department of Homeland Security. The delayed release of the compromise legislation may force lawmakers to stay in Washington past Thursday, when the current continuing resolution (CR) expires, and require them to pass a CR for two or three days. The House is expected to take up the “CRomnibus” — a package of 11 individual spending bills and a CR lasting through Feb. 27 for Homeland Security — on Thursday, with the Senate most likely voting in the following days …

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