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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Senate Budget Hearing Overlooks Shortfall in Defense Spending

  • February 4, 2015
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The urgency associated with raising the statutory cap on defense spending was all but ignored on Tuesday as the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request. Neither Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) nor ranking member Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) mentioned the need to raise the Budget Control Act cap on defense spending during their opening statements. Enzi stressed the “overspending” in Obama’s proposal that would expand the national debt, reported Defense News. The committee, along with its House counterpart, is responsible for developing an FY 2016 budget resolution, a document some GOP lawmakers are hoping calls for relaxing the defense caps …

New BRAC Round Would Limit Military Force Structure, Forbes Says

  • February 3, 2015
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Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, said he opposes a new BRAC because conducting a round of base closures would freeze the military’s force structure at a level he believes is too low. “If you believe, as I believe, that these force structures are not right, that we are going to have to build these force structures up greater, then you’d better fight like the dickens to make sure you don’t have a BRAC …

FY’16 Budget Retains Plans from Previous Request

  • February 3, 2015
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The $534 billion fiscal 2016 budget request top Pentagon officials unveiled Monday largely retains the same cuts in force structure and cost-saving reforms included in last year’s FY 2015 proposal. “The size of the active force, the size of the reserve components, the number of ships or fighter squadrons — we’re still trying to hold true to the end points we have been shooting for … under the Quadrennial Defense Review,” said DOD Comptroller Mike McCord. Unlike the FY 2015 budget though, this year’s proposal ignores the Budget Control Act caps, raising the question of what plans will need to be scaled back if Congress fails to relax the spending limits …

Modest Deal to Lift Defense Cap Likely, Expert Says

  • February 1, 2015
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Lawmakers likely will reach an agreement to relax the fiscal 2016 spending cap on defense programs along the lines of the bipartisan budget deal reached in late 2013 that provided DOD moderate relief for FY 2014 and 2015, according to a top defense analyst. “I would bet that they end up raising them $5 billion to $10 billion,” Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told reporters Friday. The 2013 deal raised the Budget Control Act cap for both defense and domestic spending by $22 billion in FY 2014 and $9 billion in the current year …

Northeastern Maryland Leaders, Residents Pack Listening Session for Proving Ground

  • February 1, 2015
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More than 450 people, including elected officials, education and business leaders, and employees at Aberdeen Proving Ground, attended a nearly three-hour Army listening session last week to support the post before the service decides how to realign its forces as it shrinks its end strength by 70,000 soldiers. “We are partners with you and provide you with water and sewer, so anything that happens with Aberdeen Proving Ground is of great interest to our city,” said Aberdeen Mayor Mike Bennett. Bennett pointed out that the proving ground will celebrate 100 years in 2017, while Aberdeen will celebrate its 125th anniversary, reported the Baltimore Sun. “There are things that happen here that cannot be done anywhere else,” said Maj. Gen. Bruce Crawford, the installation’s senior commander and commanding general of Army Communications-Electronics Command …

Obama’s Attempt to Overturn Sequester Runs into Republican Roadblock

  • January 30, 2015
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Congressional Republicans have made it clear they will not support President Obama’s plan to pay for a fiscal 2016 budget request that tops the statutory spending caps by $74 billion through an unspecified combination of spending cuts and the elimination of tax breaks. Many Republicans would join Obama and Democrats in lifting the Budget Control Act spending cap for the Pentagon, but they are unwilling to provide higher spending for domestic programs as well, reported CQ. An aide to House Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) outright rejected the budget proposal which the president is scheduled to submit to Congress on Monday …

Support for Army’s Presence in Hawaii Faces Opposition

  • January 29, 2015
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At an Army listening session held near Schofield Barracks on Wednesday, the installation’s supporters easily outnumbered opponents but even the presence of only a small number of residents calling for the Army to downsize may have distracted from Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s goal of showing overwhelming support for the Army. The chamber, which organized a “Keep Hawaii’s Heroes” campaign, said that worst case scenario would strip $1.35 billion in economic activity from the Honolulu region. To demonstrate support across Oahu for the Army, the chamber pointed to the 40,000 signatures it collected on behalf of the Army’s presence in Hawaii …

To Protect Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton Leaders Focus on Big Picture

  • January 29, 2015
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Wright-Patterson Air Force Base benefited significantly from the last round of base closures and Dayton, Ohio, leaders are aiming to ensure DOD budget constraints don’t cut into those gains. In the current environment, local officials are just as concerned with preserving the installation’s current missions as securing new ones. “This is about the long-term relationship we have with the Air Force, and not a mission-by-mission effort,” Jim Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, told the Dayton Business Journal. “Of course we want some of those new missions but we’re going to stay focused on the big picture, protecting those major assets …

McCain, Service Chiefs Warn about Impact of Spending Caps

  • January 28, 2015
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The nation’s top military officers on Wednesday bemoaned the impact of the Budget Control Act spending caps on national security, warning lawmakers they will not be able to carry out the nation’s defense strategy if Congress fails to offer any relief from pending sequestration. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno told the Senate Armed Services Committee his force is as unready as at any other point in its 239-year history, with only 33 percent of the service’s brigades “ready to the extent we would expect them to be if asked to fight.” If sequestration is imposed starting in fiscal 2016, Odierno said the Army will need to cut 60,000 soldiers after already eliminating 80,000 troops in recent years …

North Country Gears up for Army Town Hall

  • January 28, 2015
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Local leaders in northern New York are getting ready for the March 20 listening session with the Army intended to provide officials input about community support for Fort Drum before the service decides how to shrink its end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. A media campaign to alert the public about the event will kick off next week, reported the Watertown Daily Times. On the day of the meeting, the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization is planning to hold a number of small-group events for visiting officials throughout the day highlighting the community’s links to the post across a number of services, including education and health care …

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