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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

House Approves Authorization Bill despite Veto Threat

  • May 22, 2014
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The House easily passed the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill 325-98 on Thursday, despite the looming threat of a presidential veto over its rejection of a host of cost-cutting proposals as well as language restricting the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay. In an effort to build momentum to reverse the measure’s failure to include authorization for a BRAC round, compensation reforms and many of the Pentagon’s proposed force structure reductions, the White House lobbied Democrats prior to the final vote. By encouraging Democrats to vote against it, the White House hoped to strengthen its case for revisiting many of the proposals in the Senate version or in conference …

Senate Committee Reverses Pentagon Cost-Cutting Plans

  • May 22, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday voted to reverse many of the cutbacks the Pentagon proposed in its budget request, including plans to retire an aircraft carrier and the Air Force’s A-10 fleet, as it marked up the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The panel, which approved the legislation 25-1, also voted to reject the Obama administration’s request to hold a new BRAC round in 2017 and to block much of an Army plan to shift the National Guard’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to its active component …

Senate Panel Passes on Pentagon Proposal to Reduce Commissary Subsidies

  • May 21, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee on Wednesday rejected some, but not all, of DOD’s proposed reforms to military benefits, as it marked up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The panel ignored the administration’s plan to slash subsidies for military grocery stores by $200 million in FY 2015, but included the proposal to limit housing allowances below the rate of inflation …

OEA Offering Support for Communities Dealing with Reductions in Defense Spending

  • May 20, 2014
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Communities responding to the cancellation of a defense contract or a major reduction in DOD spending that results in a significant economic impact can apply to the Office of Economic Adjustment for planning assistance, according to a May 20 Federal Register notice. To be eligible, state or local governments, or regional entities need to have experienced one of the following circumstances: a publicly announced planned major reduction in DOD spending; the closure or significantly reduced operation of a defense facility resulting from the merger, acquisition or consolidation of the operating contractor …

Hagel Stands by Austerity Measures in Budget

  • May 20, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will continue to defend the cost-cutting initiatives included in the department’s fiscal 2015 budget request as lawmakers debate the proposals over the coming months, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters Tuesday. “[Hagel] stands firmly behind the tough decisions that were made in that budget proposal, decisions that he believes are necessary to preserve our military edge in a very difficult fiscal environment …

Senate Committee’s Turn to Mark up Authorization Bill This Week

  • May 18, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee gets its turn to address the Pentagon’s plans for trimming force structure, eliminating weapons systems, cutting military pay and compensation, and holding a new BRAC round when it marks up its version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill this week. On Tuesday, the Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee will mark up its portion of the annual defense policy measure, with the full committee taking up the legislation starting Wednesday. Many decisions committee members make this week will echo those the House made earlier this month …

Air Force to Impose Headquarters Cuts Quickly

  • May 15, 2014
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The Air Force intends to trim its headquarters staff at a much quicker pace than the five-year timeline Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called for, with offices responsible for installation support services one of the targets for consolidation, according to Air Force officials. Hagel directed the services to reduce their headquarters staff by 20 percent within five years, but the Air Force is aiming to complete much of its cuts by the end of fiscal 2015 …

Senate Committee Will Try to Preserve A-10 Fleet, Levin Says

  • May 13, 2014
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Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that he and other senior members of the panel will try to find an offset to pay for the cost of operating the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. The committee, however, won’t follow the lead of its counterpart in the House, which last week voted to preserve the aircraft through fiscal 2015 by allocating $635 million from DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to cover the cost. “We’re going to try to save it …

Authorization Bill Places Pentagon on Path toward ‘Hollow’ Military

  • May 12, 2014
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By voting to block most of the Pentagon’s proposals for coping with stringent spending caps imposed through fiscal 2021, the House Armed Services Committee last week could jeopardize the military’s readiness while raising questions as to how DOD will meet the mandated budget limits starting in FY 2016. “When we are told we can’t reduce infrastructure, we can’t retire weapons systems, we can’t change pay, compensation, health care, what’s left … is readiness and modernization,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters over the weekend. “So we are going to have to raid our readiness accounts and our modernization account …

Joint Chiefs Split over Wisdom of Slashing Commissary Subsidy

  • May 11, 2014
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In a break from the support for the administration’s budget request typically expected from senior Pentagon leaders, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. John Amos during a Senate hearing last week criticized the plan to reduce annual federal subsidies for military grocery stores by $1 billion over three years. The plan is projected to cut average savings for shoppers from 30 percent to 10 percent. “That’s a 66 percent drop in savings for my Marines. I don’t like that,” Amos told the Senate Armed Services Committee, reported Stars and Stripes. “The commissary issue itself is radioactive …

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