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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Proposal to Open Exchanges Online to Most Veterans Would Preserve Program Benefits

  • June 9, 2014
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The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has proposed providing online access to all honorably discharged veterans as a way to extend the exchanges’ discounts to millions of deserving veterans while shoring up the program’s revenue stream amid downsizing and budget cuts. The plan, submitted last month by AAFES CEO Thomas Shull to the Pentagon, would help the exchange system sustain profits needed to support morale, welfare and recreation activities at a time when fewer personnel and families are living on installations …

‘Money Isn’t Coming Back Soon,’ Analyst Says

  • June 6, 2014
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The steady decline in defense spending on both products and services almost certainly isn’t turning around anytime soon, according to a panel of defense industry experts appearing Thursday at the Defense Communities National Summit. DOD’s total obligations were down 16 percent from fiscal 2012 to 2013, said David Berteau, senior vice president and director of the national security program on industry and resources at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Contract spending dropped 25 percent since 2008, while spending on pay and benefits rose over that five-year period …

Need for Federal Strategy to Address Excess Defense Infrastructure Is Urgent, ADC Says

  • June 4, 2014
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Congress needs to grant the Defense Department sufficient authority to deal with its surplus of infrastructure, otherwise DOD will be forced to hollow out many of its installations and the economies of affected defense communities will suffer, according to a policy statement approved by ADC’s board of directors this week. ADC issued the policy statement as the Pentagon and Congress remain in a years-long stalemate over the need for a series of cost-saving reforms even as the defense budget is subject to stringent spending caps and the military draws down from 12-plus years of war. “In an environment of declining support for installations, the only solution is to confront head-on the nation’s excess military infrastructure,” Bob Murdock, ADC’s outgoing president, told the audience Wednesday at the Defense Communities National Summit …

Senate Panel Bolsters DOD’s Milcon Request with Funds for Quality-of-Life Needs

  • June 3, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee added $465 million in quality-of-life construction projects to the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill due to concerns that needs such as troop housing, child care centers and fitness centers were overlooked in DOD’s budget request. The department’s $2.1 billion military construction request for FY 2015 represents a 40 percent decline from current year funding, a decision the committee said it understood given the need to provide additional money for readiness accounts. Still, “military construction is the foundation of military readiness, but it is too often the go-to bill payer in constrained budget environments, resulting in the sometimes indefinite deferral of many meritorious construction projects …

House Spending Bill Would Allow Air Force to Eliminate A-10s

  • June 2, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 spending bill approved Friday by the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee would allow the Air Force to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft, even while rejecting many of DOD’s austerity measures intended to cope with next year’s statutory spending cap. The Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of 283 A-10 Warthogs, designed to save $4.2 billion over five years, is overturned in the defense authorization bills advanced by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee. Last week’s move adds to the uncertainty over the A-10 for the time being …

House Spending Bill Rejects Many DOD Cost-Cutting Proposals

  • May 29, 2014
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The $491 billion fiscal 2015 defense spending bill unveiled Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee ignores many of the Pentagon’s plans for cutting back programs aimed at keeping its budget under next year’s statutory spending cap. The draft measure includes $789 million to refuel the USS George Washington in a reversal of DOD’s budget request, which assumes the carrier would be retired to save money. The bill also includes language barring the Army from shifting the Army National Guard’s fleet of Apache attack helicopters to active-duty forces …

Committee Hopes for Budget Deal that Lifts Defense Spending Caps

  • May 26, 2014
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Congress should find a bipartisan solution that relaxes the stringent spending caps on the Pentagon without increasing the deficit, according to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approved last week by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The measure expresses the sense of the Senate that sequestration is having an adverse impact on the defense budget, according to a summary of the legislation provided by the committee. The bill text and committee report have not yet been released. The bill includes a number of provisions affecting installation policy, starting with language making clear that it is not authorizing a future BRAC round …

House Approves Authorization Bill despite Veto Threat

  • May 22, 2014
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The House easily passed the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill 325-98 on Thursday, despite the looming threat of a presidential veto over its rejection of a host of cost-cutting proposals as well as language restricting the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay. In an effort to build momentum to reverse the measure’s failure to include authorization for a BRAC round, compensation reforms and many of the Pentagon’s proposed force structure reductions, the White House lobbied Democrats prior to the final vote. By encouraging Democrats to vote against it, the White House hoped to strengthen its case for revisiting many of the proposals in the Senate version or in conference …

Senate Committee Reverses Pentagon Cost-Cutting Plans

  • May 22, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday voted to reverse many of the cutbacks the Pentagon proposed in its budget request, including plans to retire an aircraft carrier and the Air Force’s A-10 fleet, as it marked up the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The panel, which approved the legislation 25-1, also voted to reject the Obama administration’s request to hold a new BRAC round in 2017 and to block much of an Army plan to shift the National Guard’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to its active component …

Senate Panel Passes on Pentagon Proposal to Reduce Commissary Subsidies

  • May 21, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee on Wednesday rejected some, but not all, of DOD’s proposed reforms to military benefits, as it marked up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The panel ignored the administration’s plan to slash subsidies for military grocery stores by $200 million in FY 2015, but included the proposal to limit housing allowances below the rate of inflation …

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