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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Authorization Bills Call for Similar Reviews of Army Size, Force Structure

  • June 15, 2014
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Independent commissions that would be created under the House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill to assess the proper end strength of the Army and mix between its active and reserve components would be largely similar. Support for creating a commission to study the Army’s future structure gained momentum on Capitol Hill after the service released its plan earlier this year to trim the size of the National Guard below 350,000 soldiers and shift its fleet of 192 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the active component. The commission and its role would bear a strong resemblance to the panel the armed services committees created two years ago to study the balance between the Air Force’s active and reserve components …

Cantor Defeat Likely a Setback for Defense Industry

  • June 11, 2014
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Tuesday’s stunning primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) removes the defense industry’s most reliable supporter from the chamber’s leadership, according to experts. More significantly for defense communities, it raises the chances that an emboldened tea party succeeds in pushing for additional spending reductions or, at a minimum, quashes any future budget deals from reversing sequestration cuts beyond fiscal 2015 …

Panel Rejects Amendment to Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • June 10, 2014
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The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted down an amendment to reallocate Air Force funds to keep the A-10 close air support aircraft flying next year, making it the first congressional panel to support the Air Force’s plan to retire the fleet. The committee rejected the amendment from Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) by a 23-13 vote before approving the underlying fiscal 2015 defense spending measure by voice vote. Last month, versions of the FY 2015 defense authorization bill approved by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee both called for funding to keep the A-10 “Warthog” in the air …

Proposal to Open Exchanges Online to Most Veterans Would Preserve Program Benefits

  • June 9, 2014
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The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has proposed providing online access to all honorably discharged veterans as a way to extend the exchanges’ discounts to millions of deserving veterans while shoring up the program’s revenue stream amid downsizing and budget cuts. The plan, submitted last month by AAFES CEO Thomas Shull to the Pentagon, would help the exchange system sustain profits needed to support morale, welfare and recreation activities at a time when fewer personnel and families are living on installations …

‘Money Isn’t Coming Back Soon,’ Analyst Says

  • June 6, 2014
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The steady decline in defense spending on both products and services almost certainly isn’t turning around anytime soon, according to a panel of defense industry experts appearing Thursday at the Defense Communities National Summit. DOD’s total obligations were down 16 percent from fiscal 2012 to 2013, said David Berteau, senior vice president and director of the national security program on industry and resources at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Contract spending dropped 25 percent since 2008, while spending on pay and benefits rose over that five-year period …

Need for Federal Strategy to Address Excess Defense Infrastructure Is Urgent, ADC Says

  • June 4, 2014
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Congress needs to grant the Defense Department sufficient authority to deal with its surplus of infrastructure, otherwise DOD will be forced to hollow out many of its installations and the economies of affected defense communities will suffer, according to a policy statement approved by ADC’s board of directors this week. ADC issued the policy statement as the Pentagon and Congress remain in a years-long stalemate over the need for a series of cost-saving reforms even as the defense budget is subject to stringent spending caps and the military draws down from 12-plus years of war. “In an environment of declining support for installations, the only solution is to confront head-on the nation’s excess military infrastructure,” Bob Murdock, ADC’s outgoing president, told the audience Wednesday at the Defense Communities National Summit …

Senate Panel Bolsters DOD’s Milcon Request with Funds for Quality-of-Life Needs

  • June 3, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee added $465 million in quality-of-life construction projects to the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill due to concerns that needs such as troop housing, child care centers and fitness centers were overlooked in DOD’s budget request. The department’s $2.1 billion military construction request for FY 2015 represents a 40 percent decline from current year funding, a decision the committee said it understood given the need to provide additional money for readiness accounts. Still, “military construction is the foundation of military readiness, but it is too often the go-to bill payer in constrained budget environments, resulting in the sometimes indefinite deferral of many meritorious construction projects …

House Spending Bill Would Allow Air Force to Eliminate A-10s

  • June 2, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 spending bill approved Friday by the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee would allow the Air Force to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft, even while rejecting many of DOD’s austerity measures intended to cope with next year’s statutory spending cap. The Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of 283 A-10 Warthogs, designed to save $4.2 billion over five years, is overturned in the defense authorization bills advanced by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee. Last week’s move adds to the uncertainty over the A-10 for the time being …

House Spending Bill Rejects Many DOD Cost-Cutting Proposals

  • May 29, 2014
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The $491 billion fiscal 2015 defense spending bill unveiled Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee ignores many of the Pentagon’s plans for cutting back programs aimed at keeping its budget under next year’s statutory spending cap. The draft measure includes $789 million to refuel the USS George Washington in a reversal of DOD’s budget request, which assumes the carrier would be retired to save money. The bill also includes language barring the Army from shifting the Army National Guard’s fleet of Apache attack helicopters to active-duty forces …

Committee Hopes for Budget Deal that Lifts Defense Spending Caps

  • May 26, 2014
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Congress should find a bipartisan solution that relaxes the stringent spending caps on the Pentagon without increasing the deficit, according to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approved last week by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The measure expresses the sense of the Senate that sequestration is having an adverse impact on the defense budget, according to a summary of the legislation provided by the committee. The bill text and committee report have not yet been released. The bill includes a number of provisions affecting installation policy, starting with language making clear that it is not authorizing a future BRAC round …

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