image description

Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Bipartisan Agreement over Raising Spending Caps Amounts to Little More than ‘Happy Talk’

  • February 9, 2015
  • comments: 0

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, along with President Obama, have found common ground on the need to raise the statutory cap on fiscal 2016 defense spending, but until Republicans and Democrats start to agree on how to pay for extra spending for the Pentagon, the much-needed relief will remain a mirage. Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said she is “surprised by all the ‘good news’ stories about a higher defense budget.” “Sure, both sides want a higher defense topline, but that’s where the agreement stops,” Eaglen told Defense News. “Neither party has any indication or inclination about how this ends up …

Air Force Divestment Strategy Postpones Some Aircraft Retirements

  • February 9, 2015
  • comments: 0

Force structure changes included in the Air Force’s fiscal 2016 budget request would affect installations in 17 states, with the largest impacts at bases with A-10 units, officials said last week. The FY 2016 budget would continue the strategy proposed last year by the Air Force to phase out a number of weapons systems, but will postpone the retirement of some systems by several years “to retain critical capability in the near term while positioning the service to support a leaner, more modern force in the future,” according to a press release. “We are investing in nuclear, space, ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance], the Guard and Reserve, and have discontinued our personnel downsizing programs,” said Secretary Deborah Lee James …

Anniston Officials Ponder Prospects for Depot in Next BRAC

  • February 9, 2015
  • comments: 0

Although it’s still not clear when the Pentagon will hold another BRAC round, officials in northeastern Alabama would like to hold onto Anniston Army Depot, especially after losing Fort McClellan in an earlier round. The depot already is contending with a declining workload since the military’s drawdown from Iraq and Afghanistan. Five hundred workers lost their jobs in 2012, and last week 190 temporary workers were let go, reported the Anniston Star. Despite the drop in personnel, officials are confident the depot would survive the next round of base closures. Even in the absence of a large ground war, the facility is needed to refurbish weapons and equipment in peacetime, they say. Also, the Army needs to maintain a surge capacity in the event a war breaks out …

Ft. Bragg’s Value Rests on Community Ties, Strategic Necessity, Local Officials Tell the Army

  • February 8, 2015
  • comments: 0

Fayetteville, N.C., leaders and other officials underscored the strategic importance of Fort Bragg, along with the community’s long-standing support for the post and its personnel during an Army listening session attended by an estimated 450 people last Thursday. The meeting, the 15th of 30 the Army will hold across the country, was intended to gather input for its second round of restructuring which will eliminate up to 70,000 active-duty troops. Many of the 21 speakers touched on the economic ties between Fort Bragg and the surrounding region. Local governments and the state have invested more than a billion dollars to improve roads near the post …

House Budget Chairman Shows No Interest in Lifting Defense Cap

  • February 5, 2015
  • comments: 0

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
  • comments: 0

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
  • comments: 0

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
  • comments: 0

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
  • comments: 0

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
  • comments: 0

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 …

Array ( )