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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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
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 …READ MORE
About 1,450 workers affected by BRAC realignments in Texas will benefit from retraining and re-employment services as the result of a $6.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor announced this week. The funds will cover dislocated workers as well as military spouses. A little more than $3 million of the National Emergency Grant will be released now, with additional funding to be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance …READ MORE
President Obama signed a continuing resolution Wednesday to keep the government running through March 18, giving lawmakers two more weeks to complete a fiscal 2011 spending bill to fund federal operations through Sept. 30. Enactment of the legislation, which was approved by the Senate earlier in the day, averts a government shutdown but still leaves the Pentagon scrambling to pay its most critical bills in the absence of a full-year spending measure …READ MORE