• On Defense, Senate Budget Plan Sticks Closely to House Bill

    The plan released Friday by the Senate to fund government operations through Sept. 30 largely follows the full-year package the House passed Feb. 19, H.R. 1, for programs affecting defense communities. Overall, the Senate Democrats’ proposal recommends a $513.6 billion base budget for defense programs in fiscal 2011, representing a $2.1 billion reduction from the House’s version and $5.5 billion more than DOD received in FY 2010. For military construction, the Senate calls for spending $73.3 billion, a level $0.9 billion lower than in the House plan and $3.3 billion less than the amount allocated last year …

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  • Short-Term Spending Bills May Be Here to Stay

    There’s a significant possibility that the federal government will be funded by a series of continuing resolutions for the remainder of fiscal 2011, according to numerous congressional staff. Most lawmakers, including party leaders, oppose such an outcome. It would be particularly harmful to the Pentagon …

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  • Maine Senator Pushes to Move Defense Spending Bill

    Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) formally offered an amendment on the Senate floor Thursday to fund DOD for the remainder of fiscal 2011. The amendment is identical to the FY 2011 defense spending bill included in the full-year spending package the House passed Feb. 19, H.R. 1. A full-year defense spending bill is critical, according to top Pentagon officials …

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  • One Critical Change Needed to Support Military Families

    The recent White House effort calling for 50 initiatives to support military families is “wonderful news,” according to an opinion piece in USA Today this week, but there’s one more change that would go a long way toward improving the quality of life for troops and their families — reducing the number of moves service members are required to make. Because 55 percent of military personnel are married — and 70 percent of officers — moves affect dual-career families …

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  • JLUS Panel Mulls Options to Protect Cannon AFB

    A committee evaluating ways to reduce potential conflicts between Cannon Air Force Base and the surrounding community of eastern New Mexico approved Wednesday sending the recommendations of a joint land use study (JLUS) to the Roosevelt and Curry County commissions. One of the most contentious concerns was how to regulate the construction of structures taller than 200 feet, such as a wind turbine …

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  • Use of Defense Roads Program Limited, GAO Finds

    Since 2004, Congress has allocated almost $125 million for 11 projects under the Defense Access Roads (DAR) program at domestic growth installation sites, according to a new study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). A total of 20 projects have been certified by the Defense Department as eligible for DAR funding, but given expected funding delays and the extended time frame necessary to complete major traffic construction, most of the approved projects are unlikely to mitigate transportation needs arising from the 2005 BRAC round in the near term …

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