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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

House Budget Chairman Shows No Interest in Lifting Defense Cap

  • February 5, 2015
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At a hearing Wednesday on the president’s fiscal 2016 budget request, House Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) offered no indication he would like to exceed the statutory spending caps for either defense or domestic programs. Price blasted the White House proposal for jeopardizing the remaining $541 billion in discretionary spending cuts scheduled to be imposed by the Budget Control Act through FY 2021, reported CQ. “In order to increase spending across the board, the president’s budget would unravel bipartisan agreements that have secured a modicum of spending restraint in recent years,” he said. “At the end of the day, a proposal that never balances and ignores key drivers of the nation’s debt is not a serious plan …

Carter Eases through Nomination Hearing

  • February 4, 2015
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Ashton Carter’s nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday to be the next defense secretary was largely tension-free and may be quickly followed by a vote on his candidacy by the full Senate next week. “We will talk to the majority leader to see if we can’t get your nomination to the floor so that you can get to work,” Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said at the end of the day-long hearing, reported CQ. Carter told the panel he hopes to get rid of the statutory caps on defense spending and find a way with Congress out of the “wilderness of sequester …

Colorado Springs Comes out to Shield Ft. Carson from Army Restructuring

  • February 4, 2015
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An overflow crowd made up of Colorado Springs residents and leaders showed up Tuesday afternoon to support Fort Carson at an Army listening session before officials determine how to shrink the service’s end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. The Army is considering eliminating up to 16,000 personnel — almost all soldiers — from the post by the conclusion of a second round of restructuring intended to cut the service’s end strength to 420,000. The meeting is “not a BRAC hearing,” moderator Ed Anderson, a retired three-star general, emphasized at the outset of the session, which lasted three-and-one-half hours. Brig. Gen. Roger Cloutier, the Army’s director of force management, said “not a single decision has been made …

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 …

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