The Marine Corps is preparing for its new normal with a force of 175,000, that plans to operate under the constraints of sequestration, the assistant commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, told a key Senate subcommittee on Wednesday. Read More
The House and Senate armed services committees have agreed to a last minute compromise defense bill that would authorize funds to fully fund the Pentagon’s budget for Fiscal Year 2014, committee leaders said in a press conference late Monday afternoon.
From the Dec. 9, 2014 fact sheet on the Fiscal Year 2014 summary of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) propsal.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 is the key mechanism to provide necessary authorities and funding for America’s military. This is the fifty-second consecutive NDAA. The legislation meets Chairman McKeon’s goal of providing for a strong defense in an era of uncertain and declining resources. The total funding authorized reflects the will of the House to provide our troops the resources they need to meet a dangerous world. However, Chairman McKeon also recognizes that, more than ever, the impacts of rapid defense cuts, FY13 sequestration, and the prospect of future sequester cuts in the years to come, will force our warfighters to be not only keen stewards of our national security, but to maximize value for every taxpayer dollar. To that end, this legislation supports and protects our warfighters and their families; addresses ongoing and emerging conflicts with resolve and accountability; protects America today while making wise choices. Read More
The leaders of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps gave their bleak assessments of the future of Sea Service readiness under future budget cuts in a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Read More
Jo Ann Rooney — the Obama administration’s nominee for Under Secretary of the Navy — faced tough questions during her Thursday confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC).
Rooney first faced stiff questioning from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., over the status of Navy audits, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program and exactly how many employees and contractors the department employed. At one point, McCain said, “If you don’t know the answer [about the audits], you are not qualified for the job yet.” Read More
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee says commanders “are essential to winning this fight” [against sexual assault], but he expects a “much closer vote on the floor” as to whether they will be the ones deciding to prosecute such cases. Read More
The following is the July 10, 2013 Pentagon response to Sen. Carl Levin’s (D-Mich.) request to the Department of Defense to provide the Senate Armed Services Committee with a plan for sequestration.
The Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal ignored the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) which instituted across-the-board cuts to the defense budget cuts. Read More
Congress closed its 2010-2012 session by passing a fiscal package that delays deep cuts to the defense budget and other executive branch agencies for two months, averting the “fiscal cliff” that threatened to slash nearly $50 billion from DOD’s 2013 appropriations ledger.
The negotiations offered a very public look at the high-drama posturing that has become a hallmark of dealings between the White House and Capitol Hill. To many casual observers, the back-and-forth signaled a new low in relations between the two branches, but to many on the inside, it was symptomatic of the legislative process that grinds on every day, usually outside of public view.
The hard work of crafting bipartisan legislation may take months of talks behind closed doors but produce only a few days of newsworthy drama. The annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is one of those must-pass measures that enjoy overwhelming bipartisan support but take months of meetings, briefings, hearings and tense negotiations among members of the House and Senate from both sides of the aisle and DOD. The Hill and Pentagon trade budget requests, legislative proposals, cost estimates, testing data, planning documents and long-term strategy to craft each year’s spending priorities and an overarching national-security policy. The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) leads the four defense committees each year, followed by House and Senate Defense Appropriators — the HAC-D and SAC-D — and finally the Senate Armed Services Committee — SASC.
It’s been a little more than six months since two prominent Senate Armed Services Committee Republicans took aim at efforts underway within the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a national biofuels market. During the Committee’s May, 24th mark-up of this year’s defense authorization bill, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and the panel’s Ranking Member, John McCain (R-AZ), pushed through separate amendments that would have ended the Department’s pursuit of advanced renewable fuels.
The bill reported out of Committee included Inhofe’s amendment that prohibits the Pentagon from buying alternative fuels if their up-front cost is higher than that of traditional fossil fuels. Language added by McCain and backed by Inhofe banned the DoD from building or retooling refineries to produce biofuels. But in the last two weeks, talks on the energy issue intensified, sparked by a letter to Senate leadership signed by 38 members. The topic of biofuels emerged as a key sticking point, Senate aides said.
The November, 16th letter led by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and joined by 35 other Democrats, Independent Joe Lieberman (CT) and Republican Susan Collins (ME) called the Inhofe and McCain provisions “harmful and counterproductive” and expressed strong support for “the ability of military leaders to develop and employ alternative fuels.”