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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

War Spending Account Solves DOD Budget Problems for Now

  • October 6, 2014
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The OCO account is exempt from the Budget Control Act caps on defense spending and with the estimated cost of operations in Iraq and Syria ranging from $2.4 billion to $18 billion annually, it’s the easiest solution to the Pentagon’s budget crunch, analysts say. “There is currently no limit on OCO, so there is as much room as they need,” Todd Harrison, a defense budget senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told Stars and Stripes. Relying on the OCO has the obvious benefit of avoiding the need to shoehorn the cost of the war into the department’s base budget …

Pivot to Asia Continues despite Budget Pressure, Official Says

  • October 1, 2014
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DOD’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region remains on course despite the budget bind facing the department, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Tuesday. “We might not be able to go as fast as we would want because of budgetary pressures. We might not be able to have as many forces as we would otherwise like because we wouldn’t be able to afford them,” Work told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But the Asia Pacific rebalance continues apace …

Work Upbraids Congress over Opposition to Cost-Saving Reforms

  • October 1, 2014
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The almost universal rejection by lawmakers of a series of belt-tightening reforms to military compensation and weapons systems retirements proposed by the Pentagon will create an estimated $70 billion hole in its five-year budget, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told the Council on Foreign Relations this week. The department’s fiscal 2015 budget called for slashing the subsidy for commissaries and slowing increases in the basic allowance for housing, along with retiring its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft and other weapons. “These were what we considered to be pretty reasonable approaches, but Congress said ‘No …

Aberdeen PG Faces Loss of Chemical Battalion

  • September 30, 2014
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The 22nd Chemical Battalion, a 270-soldier unit responsible for assessing chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats, may be relocated from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2016 or later, the post’s garrison commander said at a public meeting last month. While the number of personnel is relatively small compared to a workforce of 22,000, such a move would represent a significant portion of Aberdeen’s military component. Service members make up only 3 percent of the workers at the installation …

Ryan Sets Sights on ‘Medium’ Budget Deal

  • September 30, 2014
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A “grand bargain” budget agreement replacing the existing Budget Control Act spending caps with alternate deficit reduction measures most likely is off the table for the remainder of the Obama presidency, but a smaller-scale deal may be possible, says Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee. Ryan blames Obama’s unwillingness to consider wholesale reform of entitlement programs for the failure of Congress and the administration in recent years to reach a deal to get the nation’s debt under control. As a result, he is abandoning his pursuit of a comprehensive deficit reduction agreement …

Washington State Receives $4.3M DOD Grant to Prepare for Downsizing

  • September 29, 2014
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Washington state will received a $4.3 million grant from DOD to support local efforts to address the impact of potential downsizing of the military and the state’s defense industry, Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week. The grant, from the Office of Economic Adjustment, will help carry out a statewide strategy to minimize the impacts of military downsizing on regional businesses and communities. The plan, developed in collaboration with the Washington Military Alliance and the Department of Commerce, will: assess the extent of the military and defense contracting footprint in the state; create a strategy and support system to reduce the exposure of regional businesses that are overly reliant on defense spending …

House Republicans Question Defense Cuts amid Renewed Mideast Operations

  • September 29, 2014
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Senior House Republicans are questioning how the Pentagon can adhere to the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps at the same time it is forced to respond to the rise of the Islamic State and other missions around the globe. On Monday, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said the defense spending cap slated to be imposed in fiscal 2016 would create a challenge as the nation opposes the Islamic State, reported the Hill. “I don’t think sequestration and increased efforts in Syria, in Iraq are compatible,” Rogers said …

Chairmanship is ‘Thornberry’s to Lose,’ HASC Watcher Says

  • September 28, 2014
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Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) appears poised to become the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, though Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) has left the door open to seek the gavel, too. The current chairman, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), announced in January…

Military Families Enjoy Moderate Savings at Commissaries in Hampton Roads

  • September 23, 2014
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Military families and veterans shopping at a commissary in Hampton Roads, Va., save an average of 16.5 percent on their groceries compared to shopping at local retailers, according to a survey conducted by the Virginian-Pilot. The average savings differed, though, depending on what supermarket chain was used for comparison. Harris Teeter showed the biggest gap, costing 30.1 percent more for the basket of 30 randomly selected items. Walmart’s prices were only 11.4 percent more expensive than the commissary, and Kroger’s were 13.3 percent higher …

Lewis-McChord Could Lose Headquarters under Medical Command Reorganization Plan

  • September 23, 2014
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Western Regional Medical Command, which employs about 200 people at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., would close under an Army proposal intended to shrink overhead costs. The proposal, which has not yet been approved by the Army, would reduce the number of regional medical headquarters from five to four, reported the News Tribune. The Army Surgeon General’s office sent the proposal to employees at the installation’s Madigan Army Medical Center last week. It could be carried out as soon as 2016 …

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