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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Smith Criticizes Policy Bill for Postponing ‘Difficult Choices’

  • May 5, 2014
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Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) on Monday attacked the chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill for failing “to make the difficult choices necessary to address crushing financial constraints placed on this budget by Congress.” Unless sequestration is repealed, said Smith, the House Armed Services Committee’s ranking member, lawmakers will need to evaluate cost-cutting proposals based on their national security merit rather than parochial interests …

Wittman Highlights Readiness Shortfall at Markup

  • May 1, 2014
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Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, underscored the military’s gap in readiness stemming from the strict spending caps enacted in 2011 along with the prospect of deeper cuts in training starting in fiscal 2016, at the outset of the panel’s markup of its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. Wittman cited a number of facts to illustrate the military’s shortfall: the Air Force has restored only 50 percent of its pilots back to appropriate training levels after slashing flying hours last year …

Subcommittee Would Block OSD Funds to Prod Pentagon to Budget for 11th Carrier

  • April 29, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee plans to use the power of the purse to ensure DOD provides funding for 11 aircraft carriers. The panel would hold back half of the funding for the office of the secretary of defense (OSD) until officials commit funds needed to prepare to refuel the USS George Washington, according to the portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill the subcommittee is scheduled to mark up Wednesday …

House Panel Rejects Proposal to Trim Commissary Discount, Housing Allowance

  • April 29, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Military Personnel Subcommittee failed to adopt the Pentagon’s plan to reduce direct subsidies for military grocery stores and slow increases in service members’ basic allowance for housing (BAH), according to the portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill the panel is scheduled to mark up on Wednesday. The changes in military pay and compensation included in the administration’s FY 2015 budget request were the Pentagon’s latest attempt to stem the growth of skyrocketing personnel costs and mitigate the impact of the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps …

Congress Will Find Funds to Retain 11th Carrier, Lawmakers Say

  • April 28, 2014
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Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation have pledged to secure the funds needed to refuel the USS George Washington, which would allow the Navy to retain 11 aircraft carriers. “I am not worried that the United States is going to lose a carrier because I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, said at a press conference on Monday, reported the Hill. DOD’s latest five-year budget provides funding for only 10 carriers as it does not include $6 billion needed to refuel the George Washington …

Effort to Overturn National Guard Cuts Runs into Resistance on Capitol Hill

  • April 28, 2014
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Congress has historically been a reliable advocate for the interests of the National Guard, but in the latest dispute over the Army’s plan to trim the size of the Army National Guard and replace its fleet of Apache attack helicopters, many members on Capitol Hill are pushing back against the arguments of state National Guard leaders. A common refrain from lawmakers is that the cuts in the Army’s end strength forced by the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps are sufficiently deep that the Guard needs to bear some of the burden of the budget cuts …

Mikulski Supports Army Force Structure Commission

  • April 24, 2014
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Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, this week said she supports a plan to establish an independent commission to study the appropriate balance between the Army’s active and reserve components. Support for the proposal already is growing as a bill introduced in the House to create a blue-ribbon panel has 167 bipartisan cosponsors, reported CQ. Mikulski made the announcement on Wednesday after visiting Maryland’s adjutant general and leaders of the state’s National Guard …

Elimination of Commissary Subsidy Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences

  • April 24, 2014
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The Obama administration’s plan to slash the annual subsidy for military grocery stores could jeopardize the viability of military exchanges as well as quality-of-life programs, according to a former director of the Defense Commissary Agency. “The role of the dice is not just on whether the commissaries will survive, it’s whether the entire system can survive,” Richard Beale Jr., who led the Defense Commissary Agency from 1992 to 1999 …

Young Officers Won’t Be Forced Out, Army Says

  • April 22, 2014
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The Army on Tuesday denied an Associated Press story stating it would need to force 3,000 officers out of the service by the end of fiscal 2015 as part of an effort to shrink its end strength from 522,000 soldiers to 490,000. The Army could rely on natural separations such as retirements and fewer enlistments to reach its target, said spokesman Troy Rolan. “I don’t see why we would have to force anybody out,” Rolan told Government Executive. “There’s so many ways we can reach any number, it’s almost impossible to describe them all …

Milcon Bill Expected on House Floor Next Week

  • April 21, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure is expected to be brought up on the House floor next week, as the chamber gets off to its fastest start for advancing appropriations bills in decades. House leaders have not yet determined exactly when the legislation would get floor time, however. The milcon bill likely would be brought up under an open amendment process, Republican aides told CQ. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has set an ambitious goal of marking up all 12 spending bills by July 4, and for the House to finish debating all 12 by the August recess …

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