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Posts Tagged ‘military construction’

New Players Mean Budget Deal Remains a Long Shot

  • January 5, 2015
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With new lawmakers heading up the House and Senate Budget committees in the 114th Congress, the likelihood that Congress is able to duplicate the late-2013 agreement that lifted the fiscal 2014 and 2015 defense spending caps by a total of $31 billion appears remote. That deal was negotiated by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), but both are moving to new committee assignments this year. At this point, it’s not entirely clear how their replacements, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), plan on addressing sequestration. If Congress does not revise the 2011 Budget Control Act, the topline for defense spending would rise only $1.7 billion to $523 billion in FY 2016 …

Quality-of-Life Milcon Projects Shortchanged in Budget, Appropriators Point Out

  • December 23, 2014
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Cuts in the services’ military construction budgets to free up funds for operational readiness are placing the needs of service members in peril as essential quality-of-life milcon requirements such as child development centers, physical fitness facilities and troop housing are going unfulfilled, according to the House and Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittees. “Deferral of needed QOL [quality-of-life] investment can adversely impact troop readiness and jeopardize the health and safety of service members,” according to the joint explanatory statement accompanying the FY 2015 omnibus spending bill signed into law last week by the president …

Budget Constraints Squeeze Funding for Road Improvements at Growth Bases

  • December 21, 2014
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Transportation requirements at a number of installations, including needs both on-base and outside the gates, are not being met due to severe constraints in military construction funding, according to the House and Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittees. “This problem is particularly acute on growth installations that serve as host commands for a variety of military departments,” according to the joint explanatory statement accompanying the FY 2015 omnibus spending bill signed into law last week by the president …

Agencies Would Need to Consider Climate Impacts of Projects, under White House Plan

  • December 18, 2014
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Federal agencies would need to evaluate a project’s impact on climate change as part of environmental assessments conducted for construction plans and other significant actions, under a draft plan released Thursday by the White House. Agencies would follow the new rules when they review projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires studies of the impacts of planned construction, energy development, major force structure changes and basing decisions requiring federal approval …

Authorization Bill Loosens Restrictions on Guam Buildup Spending

  • December 16, 2014
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A freeze on spending construction funds from the Pentagon and the government of Japan on projects in Guam needed to accommodate an influx of Marines would be lifted under the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. In recent years, leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee had barred the United States from spending money needed to prepare Guam for the realignment of about 5,000 Marines from Okinawa due to concerns over the lack of a DOD implementation plan for the buildup. Japan so far has contributed $1 billion out of the $3 billion it pledged to support the move …

FY’15 Omnibus Spending Bill Crosses the Finish Line

  • December 14, 2014
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Congress on Saturday night wrapped up work on fiscal 2015 appropriations for all agencies except for the Department of Homeland Security, after the Senate cleared the $1.1 trillion “CRomnibus” spending package 56-40. President Obama has indicated he will sign the spending package — new funding blueprints for 11 of the 12 annual appropriations titles through Sept. 30, 2015, and a continuing resolution (CR) for Homeland Security through Feb. 27 — by Wednesday when the current stopgap runs out …

Funding for Past BRAC Rounds Drops under Omnibus

  • December 9, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 compromise spending bill released Tuesday would provide $315 million to clean up installations closed in past BRAC rounds, a $45 million increase over DOD’s budget request but a $137 million decline from the FY 2014 allocation. The boost over the administration’s request is intended to expedite cleanup at closed Navy bases, according to the House Appropriations Committee. Overall the military construction and veteran affairs portion of the omnibus spending bill would provide $6.6 billion for military construction and family housing programs next year, a figure which approximately matches the administration’s request but represents a $3.25 billion decline from last year’s level. The steep drop in milcon funding reflects DOD’s decision to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness. For family housing, the bill provides $1.2 billion in FY 2015, which matches DOD’s request but falls $325 million below the enacted FY 2014 level.

Eastern Pennsylvania Lawmaker to Take Reins of Milcon Spending Panel

  • November 20, 2014
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Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent (R) will take over the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee in the new Congress, Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) announced Thursday. Dent, whose district stretches from Harrisburg to Allentown, previously served on the state-foreign operations panel, not military construction. His district includes Fort Indiantown Gap, an active National Guard Training Center which serves as the headquarters for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the primary training site for the Pennsylvania National Guard and home to the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery …

House Republicans Retain Earmark Ban

  • November 16, 2014
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House Republicans on Friday rejected a proposal to relax the conference’s earmark ban by allowing funds to be directed for specific projects to states, localities, public utilities and other public entities. The rules change, proposed by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), was rejected overwhelmingly, reported the Hill. “We had a very vigorous discussion. There’s no change in our policy; the ban stills exists,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) …

Changes at the Top of Senate Milcon Spending Panel

  • November 6, 2014
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With Republicans in control of the Senate when the 114th Congress opens in January, the chamber’s Appropriations Committee will get new leadership. At the top, Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) likely will replace Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) as chairman of the full committee. Cochrane will use his seniority on the committee to leapfrog the current ranking member, Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), reports CQ. Cochran, who chaired the full committee in the 109th Congress, also is expected to retain the gavel for the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee …

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