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Posts Tagged ‘military construction’

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Fights for Permanent Earmark Ban

  • March 23, 2015
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An effort by Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey (R) to enact a permanent ban against earmarks has drawn only limited support, with many appropriators content to retain the GOP’s temporary ban. Toomey introduced a new version in January of an earlier proposal to create a point of order against legislation containing any earmarks. The measure has attracted 10 cosponsors, including Sens. Clair McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), reported CQ. Republicans have banned earmarks since 2011 through caucus rules that have been renewed in each Congress, while Democrats have adopted a voluntary earmark ban …

Condition of Facilities Remains at High Risk, Installation Officials Say

  • March 8, 2015
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DOD’s fiscal 2016 budget request would help the services restore some of the backlog in facility maintenance caused by previous years’ spending cuts, but it still would leave installations scrambling to keep pace with building maintenance requirements. The proposal would cover only 81 percent of the funds the services need to adequately maintain their infrastructure, reported Federal News Radio. And that’s assuming Congress comes up with a way to pay for the administration’s request to exceed the Budget Control Act spending caps by $35 billion next year. “Facility sustainment is still the place where I see the highest risk,” said John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment …

Army Can’t Keep up with Failing Facilities

  • March 6, 2015
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Army facilities deteriorated significantly following the first two years of mandatory budget caps, fiscal 2013 and 2014, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy, and environment, told lawmakers this week. Currently, 7 percent of the service’s facilities are failing — including ones housing operating units — and 24 percent are in poor condition, Hammack told the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee on Tuesday. “The challenge is that facilities are failing at a rate faster than we’re being funded …

New BRAC Round Would Generate Savings, Conger Says

  • March 4, 2015
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The Pentagon’s senior installations official told lawmakers Tuesday that the BRAC round DOD is requesting would realize savings much more quickly than the 2005 round. “We look at the next round as an efficiency-driven one,” John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, told the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. “In such a budget environment as we have today, it only makes sense to avoid spending money on excess …

Installation Chiefs Turn up the Heat to Make Case for BRAC

  • March 3, 2015
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The military’s installation chiefs made an impassioned plea to lawmakers on Tuesday for permission to hold a BRAC round in 2017, fine tuning their previous arguments and making clear the consequences if Congress rejects the Pentagon’s request for a new round of base closures for the fourth year in a row. Two of the witnesses came to the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee hearing with new estimates of the amount of excess infrastructure capacity their services are saddled with. An analysis based on fiscal 2013 data concluded the Army has an 18 percent facility excess, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment. That figure was based on an active-duty end strength of 490,000, which the Army will reach by the end of the year …

Downsizing Has an Upside for Energy Efficiency

  • February 10, 2015
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Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, learned about several initiatives that are improving sustainability at Fort Campbell, Ky., during a visit last week. The relocation of the post’s Noncommissioned Officer Academy moved the school from an aging facility dating from World War II to a newly renovated building that is more energy efficient and cheaper to maintain, reported the Fort Campbell Courier. “They were in old World War II wood buildings that were failing,” Hammack said. “We were able to move them to something that was a lot better …

Death of Mississippi Congressman Leaves Opening on Milcon Panel

  • February 9, 2015
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Mississippi Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R), who served on the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, died Friday from complications from brain cancer. He was 56. Nunnelee was elected to this third term last November; he also had been assigned to the Agriculture and Energy-Water Appropriations panels. He was one of the new generation of appropriators more interested in eliminating federal spending than securing a share of federal spending for his district …

New York Congresswoman Named Readiness Panel Vice Chair

  • February 8, 2015
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Rep. Elise Stefanik, a freshman Republican from Upstate New York, was named vice chair of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee last week, as part of an effort by Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) to get committee members more deeply involved in national security issues during the 114th Congress. Stefanik, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, has one major installation in her district, Fort Drum. “From this position, I will be able to work to undo the damaging effects that the sequester is having on our military readiness as well as bring a strong voice to protect and strengthen the interests of Fort Drum. I look forward to working closely with Subcommittee Chairman Rob Wittman on these important issues …

BRAC Cleanup Funding to Continue Long-Term Decline under FY’16 Request

  • February 5, 2015
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Funding to clean up installations closed during the first five BRAC rounds would fall 20 percent to $251.3 million in fiscal 2016, under the president’s new budget proposal. The request would continue a sharp drop in funding for past base closure rounds since FY 2013, when Congress allocated $759.6 million for cleanup and other closure costs. The FY 2015 omnibus spending bill approved in December provided $315 million for past BRAC cleanups. That allocation, however, represented a $45 million increase over the president’s budget request, and lawmakers may be inclined to boost the administration’s request again for FY 2016 …

Senate Milcon Panel Features Six New Lawmakers

  • January 29, 2015
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The lineup of the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee in the new Congress remains largely intact at the senior levels but includes a number of new Republican and Democratic lawmakers. The most significant change is that Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who had been the ranking member, is now the chairman. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) takes over the top Democratic slot for the retiring Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). New Republicans on the milcon panel include John Boozman (R-Ark.); Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.); and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). New Democrats include Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii); Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.); and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) …

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