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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

OMB Chief Rips GOP’s Resort to ‘Budget Gimmicks’

  • June 2, 2015
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Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan on Monday reiterated the administration’s concerns about the Republicans’ strategy for bypassing the statutory spending caps by stashing extra funds in the Defense Department’s war account, in a letter to the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. The letter was timed to coincide with Tuesday’s markup of the committee’s fiscal 2016 defense spending bill. Donovan said the administration has “serious concerns about this legislation, which would underfund these important investments in the base budget and instead rely on budget gimmicks that have been criticized by members of both parties. The legislation also includes highly problematic riders and provisions that would preclude needed reforms …

Groups Pose Alternative Missions for Davis-Monthan AFB to Address A-10 Retirement

  • June 1, 2015
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While the A-10 jet appears to have dodged retirement once again, the Air Force’s plan to retire the fleet of ground-attack jets in favor of other aircraft that can fulfill its close air support mission and save $4 billion likely isn’t going away. The looming retirement of the A-10 poses an uncomfortable question for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson as the aircraft represents the installation’s primary flying mission and the Air Force is looking to shed excess capacity. In the first of a multi-part series, the Arizona Daily Star considers five future missions for the installation suggested by the various entities advocating for the installation, including the DM50, the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance, Pima County and the city of Tucson …

Wisconsin Leaders Underscore Need to Diversify State’s Economy

  • June 1, 2015
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To cope with the uncertain trajectory of defense spending, the state of Wisconsin needs to consider ways to diversify its economy, according to a commentary in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The city of Oshkosh already is attempting to reduce its reliance on defense contracts following the loss of thousands of jobs at Oshkosh Defense as DOD has slashed its procurement of tactical military vehicles. One avenue local planners are pursuing with the support of $1.8 million in grants from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) is helping the suppliers of Oshkosh Defense enter other industries. The city of Marinette similarly should prepare for the possibility that work building the Navy’s littoral combat ship at Marinette Marine Corp. declines …

Size of Army to Remain Unsettled for Several Years, Odierno Says

  • May 31, 2015
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Gen. Ray Odierno had hoped the Obama administration and Congress could have settled on a final end strength for the Army by the time he steps down as the Army’s chief of staff this fall, but the issue likely will remain undecided for several more years, he told reporters last week. “I thought by now we would have had that resolved,” said Odierno. “That was a major thing I wish I could’ve had done so the new chief could focus on continuing to move the Army forward, but he’s still going to have to deal with this issue for at least two or three more years,” he said, reported Army Times. The Army already is slated to shrink its active-duty end strength to 490,000 soldiers by Sept. 30, with further reductions cutting the force to 450,000 over the next few years …

Neither Side Prepared to Make First Move on Spending Cap Deal

  • May 27, 2015
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It’s looking more and more that any negotiations between GOP congressional leaders and the White House over lifting the Budget Control Act spending caps will not start until the new fiscal year approaches. On Wednesday, Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan said the White House has no plans to reach out to Republican leaders as its opening offer was its fiscal 2016 budget request delivered in February. “We’ve actually put our cards on the table, if you will, to say ‘Here’s what we want. Here’s how we would pay for it,’ and the next step really needs to be Republicans coming to the table to say, ‘Here’s our proposal on that …

Arkansas Army National Guard Calls for Closure of Eight Armories

  • May 27, 2015
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The adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard is scheduled to recommend the closure of eight Army readiness centers when he meets with Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday. Shutting down the eight armories, located primarily in the northeastern part of the state, would leave Arkansas with 54 readiness centers. The plan would save the Arkansas National Guard about $306,000 annually in operating costs for utilities and routine maintenance …

Senate Bill Embraces DOD’s Commissary Reforms

  • May 25, 2015
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The Senate Armed Services Committee adopted the Defense Department’s proposal to slash funding for commissaries by $322 million as an initial step to scaling back the federal subsidy for military grocery stores, under the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill the panel approved May 14. DOD’s cost-cutting plan would trim the overall savings for military families and veterans from an average of 30 percent to 28 percent, reported Stars and Stripes. More than half of the savings — representing a 23 percent funding cut for the Defense Commissary Agency — would come from operating efficiencies, including reducing staff, store hours and the days stores are open …

Senate Democrats Promise Rough Going on Appropriations

  • May 25, 2015
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Senate Democrats will participate in committee work on fiscal 2016 spending legislation but once the bills move to the floor, the party will block them from advancing, Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, vowed last week. “Unless there is a new [spending] agreement before these bills come to the floor, we will vote against the motion to proceed,” Mikulski said Thursday after the panel approved its first spending bill of the year. The gambit is designed to pressure Republicans to negotiate on a new budget deal to raise the statutory spending caps …

Air Force Introduces Programs to Increase End Strength

  • May 20, 2015
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The Air Force is reversing course and introducing several force management programs to increase its active-duty end strength following several years of personnel reductions. The course correction was prompted by a host of new missions, including the air campaign against the Islamic State and the effort to support NATO allies anxious over Russian aggression in Ukraine. The size of the Air Force began to shrink in fiscal 2014, when its end strength stood at 330,700 airmen. Now it has 312,980 service members, reported Air Force Times. The service’s FY 2016 budget calls for its end strength to rise 1.3 percent to 317,000 …

Senate Bill Calls for Privatization Pilot for Commissaries

  • May 19, 2015
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At least five military commissaries would be privatized under a two-year pilot program, according to the version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. In addition to the pilot program, the bill calls for the Governmental Accountability Office to assess the potential costs and benefits of privatizing the entire network of military grocery stores, reported Stars and Stripes. The committee has not yet released the bill text or committee report. Veterans of Foreign Wars issued a statement opposing the Senate plan because it would cut into the discounts enjoyed by military families and veterans …

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