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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Plan to Consolidate Exchanges, Commissaries Would Mitigate Budget Cuts

  • March 31, 2014
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A proposal from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) to consolidate military commissaries and base exchanges could provide an alternate means to generate some of the savings required under the Pentagon’s plan to trim the annual subsidy for military grocery stores over the next three years. The AAFES proposal, submitted March 17 to senior DOD officials, concluded that a consolidation could save $250 million to $450 million a year in commissary overhead …

Air Force Plan to Retire A-10s Poses Dilemma for Lawmakers

  • March 30, 2014
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House lawmakers expressed frustration over the Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft, as witnesses testified during multiple hearings last week that the aircraft’s value to the force could not overcome the overwhelming need to trim the service’s budget. “If you look at risks, capabilities and operational needs, the A-10 should not be retired,” Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, told the Hill. Yet, Turner said he did not know whether the committee could find offsetting cuts in the fiscal 2015 budget to save the fleet of 283 A-10 Warthogs …

‘Empty Facilities Tax’ Costing Army $500M Annually, McHugh Says

  • March 27, 2014
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The Army is spending an estimated $500 million a year to maintain buildings it no longer needs, a cost that will rise in the absence of a BRAC round as the service continues to draw down its forces, Secretary John McHugh told lawmakers Thursday. McHugh referred to the funds spent on unneeded facilities as an “empty facilities tax” as he testified before the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He pointed to that half-billion-dollar-a-year tax as one reason why Congress should approve the Pentagon’s request to hold a round of base closures in 2017 …

Further Sequester Relief Not a Priority for Senate Leadership

  • March 27, 2014
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Senate Democrats have downgraded their effort to ease the burden of sequestration on DOD through fiscal 2021, dropping it from their list of legislative goals for the remainder of the year. Over the last 18 months, top Senate Democrats had made a push to replace the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on defense and domestic spending with alternative mechanisms for reducing the deficit, but on Thursday Senate leaders highlighted only domestic issues as their priorities for 2014 …

Some Commissaries Could Close in U.S., DOD Official Says

  • March 26, 2014
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A loss in business at U.S. commissaries due to cuts in subsidies proposed under the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request could force some military grocery stores to close, a senior DOD official told lawmakers Wednesday. The department is not proposing to close any commissaries; rather, its latest budget calls for reducing the annual direct subsidy to commissaries by $1 billion over the next three years. At that point, the lower funding would reduce the average discount for military families from 30 percent to 10 percent …

House Sticking to Budget Agreement, Boehner Says

  • March 25, 2014
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House Republicans have no plans to adjust the defense spending caps established in last December’s budget deal as a result of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday. When asked about the likelihood that Congress would lift the caps on defense spending over the next six years, Boehner said it was too soon to tell, reported the Hill. “I don’t know that we’re far enough along in that project to make that determination. In terms of the spending for defense in this year, I believe that we’ll abide by the budget agreement that we’ve already made …

Navy Retains Little Excess Infrastructure, Officials Say

  • March 25, 2014
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The Navy eliminated most of its excess capacity in previous BRAC rounds, but the service still would take the opportunity to assess its existing footprint if Congress were to authorize additional base closures, the Navy’s top leaders told lawmakers Tuesday. “We will certainly take a — a very hard look at all our capacities, at all the bases that we have, should Congress authorize a new BRAC round. And we do support the use of that tool,” Secretary Ray Mabus told the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee …

Army Leaders Look to BRAC to Mitigate Spending Cuts

  • March 25, 2014
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The Army’s top civilian and uniformed officials on Tuesday pressed the Pentagon’s case to hold a new BRAC, telling the House Armed Services Committee the service could save an estimated $1 billion annually following a round of base closures. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said that a new round would cost less than the 2005 one and generate a larger return due to a reduction in operating costs and a drop in the Army’s end strength, reported Defense News. The last round required the service to invest $13 billion at the outset, producing annual savings of $1 billion …

DOD Bets Against Sequestration

  • March 23, 2014
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The DOD’s current long-term fiscal plans make a big assumption–that Congress will find a way to halt the automatic $35 billion cut to the department’s budget slated for 2016. In a memo to the military service chiefs last month, Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox said next fiscal year “will be a critical inflection point…and we will look for a signal from Congress that sequestration will not be imposed in FY 2016…

Senators Introduce Bill to Prevent Cuts to Commissaries

  • March 17, 2014
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Several U.S. senators have introduced new legislation to preserve funding for military commissaries, freezing the DOD’s FY 2015 budget proposal to cut funding to the government- subsided grocery stores. The “Military Commissary Sustainment Act,” co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner (D)…

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