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Posts Tagged ‘military construction’

BRAC ‘Conversation Has Begun,’ Conger Tells Summit

  • June 4, 2014
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Despite painting a bleak future for military construction and facilities sustainment funding, the Pentagon’s top installations official on Wednesday expressed some optimism regarding the timeline for a new base closure round. Congress is on a course to dismiss the Obama administration’s BRAC request for a third straight year, but some indications have emerged that lawmakers’ rejection can eventually be overcome. One hopeful sign is a provision in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures and realignments …

Spending Bill includes Extra Funds to Speed BRAC Cleanups

  • June 3, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee boosted the Pentagon’s budget request for past BRAC rounds by $110 million in an effort to expedite the cleanup of closed and realigned installations. The committee recommended $380 million for the base closure account in the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill it approved last month. Congress allocated $451 million for the account in the current year …

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 …

Committee Urges DOD to Consider Local Reuse Potential for Military Property

  • June 2, 2014
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Defense officials should consider the steps the department could take to assess the local redevelopment potential for military properties and facilities, according to the report of the Senate Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill. “Prior to approving new construction or upgrades, the department should consider local interest, property value and related cost savings that could result from the transfer and disposal of facilities or properties …

Subcommittee’s Recommendation Exceeds Request by $110M for BRAC Cleanup

  • May 20, 2014
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Funding to clean up installations closed in past BRAC rounds would receive $380 million under the draft fiscal 2015 spending bill approved Tuesday by the Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. The recommendation exceeds DOD’s budget request by $110 million but still would represent a $71 million decline from current year funding. The spending bill approved last month by the House matched the administration’s request for $270 million for legacy BRAC sites …

Senate Appropriators to Mark up Milcon Bill Next Week

  • May 14, 2014
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The Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its spending bill for fiscal 2015 on May 20, with the full committee scheduled to take it up May 22. The milcon spending measure likely will go to the Senate floor in late June or early July, reported CQ Roll Call. The House approved its milcon spending bill April 30. Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said his panel’s bill would be marked up by the first week of July. Senate appropriators are planning to complete their work on the annual measures by the August recess. House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) has said he wants to have all the chamber’s spending bills approved by the committee by July 4 and through the House by the August recess.

Milcon Bill Becomes Vehicle for House to Block Cost-Cutting Measures

  • May 4, 2014
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A new BRAC round wasn’t the only cost-saving measure House lawmakers voted to block last week during debate over the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The House also approved an amendment barring the Defense Department from closing any commissaries. That amendment, passed by voice vote, was introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) in response to the Pentagon’s proposal to reduce the direct subsidy for commissaries by $1 billion over three years. The funding reduction would slash the average savings on groceries from 30 percent to 10 percent …

House Tacks on Provision Prohibiting BRAC Round to Milcon Spending Bill

  • April 30, 2014
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The House approved an amendment to the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill Wednesday blocking DOD from proposing, planning for or carrying out a new round of base closures. The chamber passed the underlying legislation by a 416-1 vote, getting Congress off to the earliest start to the appropriations process since 1974. The milcon spending bill would provide $6.6 billion for military construction and family housing programs next year, a figure which matches the administration’s request but represents a $3.3 billion decline from the FY 2014 allocation. The measure would provide $270.1 million for the cleanup of BRAC sites, matching the Obama administration’s budget request, but representing a $181.3 million drop from current year funding. The bill would allocate $45 billion for medical services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, including mental health care, job training and suicide prevention efforts, reported the Hill.

Early Start on Appropriations May Not Preclude Need for CR

  • April 27, 2014
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Despite a renewed emphasis from appropriators in both chambers on passing fiscal 2015 spending bills before the new fiscal year begins, there’s a distinct possibility that one or more measures will not be passed and force Congress to rely on a continuing resolution (CR). One likely candidate for being held back is defense appropriations, primarily so congressional leaders can force movement on other spending bills, reports CQ. Also, the Pentagon may not submit its FY 2015 request for overseas contingency operations until September …

DOD Should Take Advantage of Roads Program, House Panel Says

  • April 21, 2014
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The Defense Department should make greater use of the Defense Access Roads (DAR) program, a way for DOD to upgrade roads outside of military installations, according to the report of the House Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. “The committee has heard of many worthwhile road construction/expansion projects in and around military installations that are in great need of funding,” the panel states. Those projects would benefit both the installations and the communities …

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