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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

House, Senate Give up Ground Reluctantly on DOD Reforms

  • December 2, 2014
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House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders reached agreement on a compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill that offers the Pentagon only moderate concessions on many of its cost-saving reforms affecting military compensation and force structure. On one of the issues that held up a deal until Monday, committee leaders agreed to slow the growth in the basic allowance for housing (BAH) so it covers only 99 percent of costs, reported Stars and Stripes. DOD had proposed slowing increases in the BAH until it covered only 95 percent of costs …

Defense Budget Insufficient to Meet Strategic Guidance, Independent Panel Concludes

  • December 2, 2014
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The defense budget is inadequate to meet the Pentagon’s strategic requirements, even in the absence of threats which emerged over the past year, two members of an independent panel formed to assess the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Michèle Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, said the Budget Control Act spending caps pose “a threat to national security” and could jeopardize the lives of service members if another conflict were to arise. Congress should approve the department’s proposals to slash spending through a new BRAC round and reform military compensation …

House, Senate Resolve Impasse over Authorization Bill

  • December 1, 2014
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Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees reached agreement on a compromise fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, after breaking an impasse over two Pentagon proposals intended to trim the cost of military compensation. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced the breakthrough on Monday, but did not say how the issues had been resolved. “We compromised,” Levin told reporters Monday evening. “It takes two, not just to tango, but to compromise.” He indicated details would be released on Tuesday …

House GOP Searches for Spending Bill Sweet Spot

  • December 1, 2014
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House Republicans on Tuesday will try to reach a consensus on a strategy for wrapping up fiscal 2015 appropriations before the current continuing resolution runs out Dec. 11. Republican leaders are trying to find an approach that satisfies conservatives eager to block President Obama’s executive action on immigration as well as other lawmakers unwilling to risk another federal-wide shutdown. One proposal that could strike that balance calls for funding most government agencies through a year-long omnibus, with a short-term CR for immigration-related programs …

Compensation Panel Not Aiming to Solve Pentagon Budget Challenges, Commissioner Says

  • December 1, 2014
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The Defense Department should not pin its hopes on finding major budget savings in the final report of a nine-member commission established by Congress to review military compensation, according to one member of the commission. “We’re going to work on what’s important to properly recruit and retain and resource the force necessary for the war after next,” former Congressman Stephen Buyer (R), who represented Indiana for nine terms, told Stars and Stripes. “I have told leadership at the Pentagon that their present budget issue is not my problem. Don’t look to me to solve your present budget problem. If you’ve got issues with sequester, then you deal with that with the Congress. That’s not my job …

House Republican Plan Calls for Omnibus to Fund Most Agencies

  • November 30, 2014
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House Republican leaders are expected on Tuesday to propose funding most government agencies through a year-long omnibus, with a short-term continuing resolution for immigration-related programs. The latest House GOP proposal to confront President Obama over the unilateral actions he took last month shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation would not necessarily avert a government shutdown, however, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week said Democrats would not support such a plan. “We will not be enablers to a Republican government shutdown, partial or otherwise …

McCain May End Closed Markups for Authorization Bill

  • November 24, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of the defense authorization bill may be open to the public next year, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is expected to take the gavel for the panel in the 114th Congress, said last week. “I lean towards it, but I want to get the sense of all the members of the committee,” said McCain. McCain has previously stated there is no reason to hold the markup in a closed session. Before going ahead, though, he said he wants to make sure a majority of the committee supports the move, reported CQ Roll Call …

Prospects for Omnibus Drop following Obama’s Immigration Action

  • November 23, 2014
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As Republicans continue to grapple with a response to President Obama’s executive order on immigration, the likelihood that Congress clears an omnibus bill during the lame duck session to wrap up appropriations for fiscal 2015 continues to fall. That calculation comes as time is running out to act on an omnibus by Dec. 11 when the current continuing resolution runs out and conservatives remain convinced that the must-pass spending legislation is their most potent weapon to confront Obama on his executive order shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation …

Army Realignment Should Be Conducted under BRAC, Community Leaders Say

  • November 23, 2014
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The decision-making process the Army is using to shrink its active-duty end strength to 420,000 by fiscal 2020 lacks transparency, say leaders in two Army communities that stand to lose thousands of troops as officials decide what installations will lose up to 70,000 soldiers. Instead, the Army’s force structure realignments should be made through a formal BRAC round, they say. “No one is comfortable with the process of this whole drawdown and the way it’s being managed. The citizens at large, Congress, the Army — nobody’s happy with this process. … The meat-cleaver approach that is being taken to defense spending is unconscionable,” said John Crutchfield, president and CEO of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce …

Mechanism to Block Executive Order through Appropriations Remains Elusive

  • November 20, 2014
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The Republican camp struggled to agree on a strategy to take advantage of fiscal 2015 spending legislation to block President Obama’s executive action shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation. House appropriators say there is no practical way to defund the president’s action through spending bills, as the agency responsible for determining immigration status and work permits is funded through fees rather than congressional appropriations …

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