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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Senate to Take up Milcon Spending Next Month

  • April 10, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to mark up the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill before the end of May, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said Thursday. Mikulski said the milcon measure “definitely will be the first” spending bill her committee marks up as the House and Senate Appropriations committees attempt to coordinate their schedules, reported CQ. But the schedules won’t be identical …

Appropriators Highlight Deficiencies at DOD Facilities

  • April 10, 2014
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The House Appropriations Committee cited a variety of shortcomings in DOD’s military construction program, including a lack of priority placed on projects that affect safety and health, and antiquated dining facilities at several joint bases, according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. “The committee believes that the Department of Defense should consider more than the mission requirements and training objectives of installations when prioritizing MILCON projects …

Battle over A-10 Heats up on Capitol Hill

  • April 10, 2014
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Republican lawmakers and local officials on Thursday pledged to save the A-10 attack aircraft from an Air Force proposal to retire the fleet in the face of strict spending caps originally mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act. The challenge for the lawmakers, led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), is finding an offset to make up for the $3.5 billion the Air Force intends to save by eliminating the aircraft that specializes in close air support, reported Defense News. “I am working this issue with my colleagues,” Ayotte told reporters …

Army Drawdown Would Require Large Cut in Brigades, Odierno Says

  • April 9, 2014
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If the full force of sequestration returns in fiscal 2016, the Army would be forced to eliminate up to 46 percent of its active-duty brigade combat teams, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Those cuts would be accompanied by a 22 percent reduction in brigade combat teams from the National Guard, Odierno told the panel. Those changes would result in the Army going from a mix of 51 percent active and 49 percent reserve component personnel, to a 46 percent active and 54 percent reserve-component split …

BRAC Is Only Way to Alleviate Excess Capacity, Hammack Tells Lawmakers

  • April 8, 2014
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The Army’s top installations official made the case for a new BRAC round during a Capitol Hill hearing last week, citing the service’s declining force structure and recent efforts to downsize its footprint in Europe. “The best and proven way to address excess and shortfalls in facility requirements in a cost-effective and fair manner is through the BRAC (base realignment and closure) Commission process,” said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment …

SASC Members Launch Effort to Reverse Spending Cuts

  • April 8, 2014
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Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee plan on holding informal discussions on ways to loosen the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps. Congress has provided partial relief to the automatic cuts in the first three years of sequestration, but starting in fiscal 2016 they are slated to be fully imposed, amounting to more than $50 billion in spending reductions annually. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said the committee is well-suited to tackle the issue because it’s bipartisan, broadly representative of both parties and more familiar with the impact of sequestration than other committees since DOD represents half of the spending cuts. Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) previously has talked about the effort. “I don’t know where it’s going. I just wanted to open up a discussion in the committee about what to do about sequester instead of just complaining about it,” King told the Hill on Tuesday.

Senators Consider House Plan to Study Army, Guard Changes

  • April 8, 2014
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Several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday signaled their support for a House bill that would create an independent commission to make recommendations about how the Army’s force structure should be allocated between the service’s active and reserve components. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), also would block the Army’s plan to transfer the National Guard’s 192 Apache attack helicopters to the active Army and replace them with 111 Black Hawk helicopters. The measure has the support of 41 Democrats and 111 Republicans …

Plan to Trim Commissary Benefits Troubles Military Families

  • April 6, 2014
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Military families across the spectrum of rank and income are concerned about the impact of the Defense Department’s proposal to drastically cut subsidies for military grocery stores, according to a new survey. Two-thirds of military families at pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000 said commissaries are a key part of their current compensation, according to the survey from the First Command Financial Behaviors Index. Three-quarters of respondents said eliminating the subsidies “would negatively impact their families …

Unfunded Priorities Lists Unlikely to Be Fulfilled

  • April 6, 2014
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The military services last week sent Congress a list of $36 billion worth of priorities not included in DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request, including significant amounts of funding for facility needs. The lists, requested by the House Armed Services Committee, stand little chance of being funded, though, as lawmakers are unlikely to revisit the FY 2015 spending caps included in last December’s budget agreement. “It is not going to happen,” said Gordon Adams, a Stimson Center analyst responsible for the defense budget during the Clinton administration …

Study on European Basing Consolidation Nears Completion

  • April 6, 2014
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The Pentagon’s comprehensive review of its European infrastructure, an initiative to create long-term savings by closing facilities and consolidating operations, is expected to be completed later this spring, the department’s top installations official testified last week. Officials had planned on finishing the analysis by the end of 2013, but the effort fell behind schedule as a result of the challenging nature of the “holistic, joint review,” employee furloughs and other constraints …

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