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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

Early Start on Appropriations May Not Preclude Need for CR

  • April 27, 2014
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Despite a renewed emphasis from appropriators in both chambers on passing fiscal 2015 spending bills before the new fiscal year begins, there’s a distinct possibility that one or more measures will not be passed and force Congress to rely on a continuing resolution (CR). One likely candidate for being held back is defense appropriations, primarily so congressional leaders can force movement on other spending bills, reports CQ. Also, the Pentagon may not submit its FY 2015 request for overseas contingency operations until September …

Mikulski Supports Army Force Structure Commission

  • April 24, 2014
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Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, this week said she supports a plan to establish an independent commission to study the appropriate balance between the Army’s active and reserve components. Support for the proposal already is growing as a bill introduced in the House to create a blue-ribbon panel has 167 bipartisan cosponsors, reported CQ. Mikulski made the announcement on Wednesday after visiting Maryland’s adjutant general and leaders of the state’s National Guard …

Many Officers Will Be Forced Out, Army Concedes

  • April 24, 2014
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The Army on Wednesday acknowledged that a majority of the 3,000 officers whose positions need to be eliminated by the end of fiscal 2015 will be forced out, clarifying an earlier assertion denying the officers would be subject to involuntary separation. Officials will need to let go at least 2,000 officers as part of an effort to shrink the service’s end strength from 522,000 soldiers to 490,000 by October 2015, reported Government Executive in a correction to a recent story …

Elimination of Commissary Subsidy Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences

  • April 24, 2014
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The Obama administration’s plan to slash the annual subsidy for military grocery stores could jeopardize the viability of military exchanges as well as quality-of-life programs, according to a former director of the Defense Commissary Agency. “The role of the dice is not just on whether the commissaries will survive, it’s whether the entire system can survive,” Richard Beale Jr., who led the Defense Commissary Agency from 1992 to 1999 …

McKeon Outlines Priorities for Policy Bill

  • April 23, 2014
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Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, cited readiness, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and nuclear deterrence as his chief priorities as the panel gets ready to unveil the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. In addition to readiness — which has deteriorated due to spending caps imposed in each of the past two years — McKeon said he was concerned about the Navy’s proposal to retire an aircraft carrier and the Air Force’s decision to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft …

Young Officers Won’t Be Forced Out, Army Says

  • April 22, 2014
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The Army on Tuesday denied an Associated Press story stating it would need to force 3,000 officers out of the service by the end of fiscal 2015 as part of an effort to shrink its end strength from 522,000 soldiers to 490,000. The Army could rely on natural separations such as retirements and fewer enlistments to reach its target, said spokesman Troy Rolan. “I don’t see why we would have to force anybody out,” Rolan told Government Executive. “There’s so many ways we can reach any number, it’s almost impossible to describe them all …

DOD Should Take Advantage of Roads Program, House Panel Says

  • April 21, 2014
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The Defense Department should make greater use of the Defense Access Roads (DAR) program, a way for DOD to upgrade roads outside of military installations, according to the report of the House Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. “The committee has heard of many worthwhile road construction/expansion projects in and around military installations that are in great need of funding,” the panel states. Those projects would benefit both the installations and the communities …

Milcon Bill Expected on House Floor Next Week

  • April 21, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure is expected to be brought up on the House floor next week, as the chamber gets off to its fastest start for advancing appropriations bills in decades. House leaders have not yet determined exactly when the legislation would get floor time, however. The milcon bill likely would be brought up under an open amendment process, Republican aides told CQ. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has set an ambitious goal of marking up all 12 spending bills by July 4, and for the House to finish debating all 12 by the August recess …

Defense Lobbying Shifts from Capitol Hill to Pentagon

  • April 20, 2014
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Even as lobbyists gear up for markups of the defense authorization bill and spending bills, much of their attention has shifted to the Defense Department as spending caps and earmark bans limit the power of lawmakers. “We’re not doing the retail lobbying on the Hill anymore,” one lobbyist told CQ. “I’m only hiring people who know their way around the Pentagon.” The change comes as lawmakers have lost much of their influence on spending decisions …

Senate Hearing to Provide Joint Chiefs Chance to Defend Cuts in Benefits

  • April 17, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee is providing the Joint Chiefs of Staff a rare opportunity to make clear the tradeoff between accepting the changes in military pay and compensation the Pentagon has proposed or risking further deterioration in the military’s readiness. The May 6 hearing is slated to include testimony from all seven of the four-star officers that make up the Joint Chiefs of Staff. To mitigate the impact of spending caps initially mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act, defense officials have looked for savings in skyrocketing personnel costs. The cutbacks to compensation included in the department’s five-year budget would save $2.1 billion next year and $30 billion through fiscal 2019 …

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