Defense

May 10, 2012

House committee nixes more military base closings

by Robert Burns
Associated Press

The House Armed Services Committee May 9 soundly rejected the Pentagon’s call for military base closings to cut costs as lawmakers worked on a defense budget that adds billions to President Barack Obama’s spending proposal.

The committee fleshed out a blueprint that calls for a base defense budget of $554 billion, including nuclear weapons spending, plus $88 billion for the war in Afghanistan and counterterrorism efforts. That compares with the administration’s proposal of $551 billion, plus $88 billion.

The idea of another round of domestic base closings lost by a 44-18 vote. Lawmakers have challenged the savings from previous closings. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had proposed two rounds, but there’s no enthusiasm in Congress for that during an election year.

The committee chairman, GOP Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon of California, said the legislation represents a “modest” increase over the administration’s proposal and “actively rebuilds the military within the constrained resources available to us.”

The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, said he was pleased that the bill includes new conditions on providing aid to Pakistan.”It is imperative that Pakistan support our counterterrorism efforts,” he said.

Election-year maneuvering over the size of the Pentagon budget is unfolding against a backdrop of worries by Republicans and Democrats that the nation’s defenses will suffer if lawmakers cannot stave off more than $500 billion in mandatory military spending cuts scheduled to begin taking effect next year.

The military service chiefs, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, have said they support the Obama plan, but some Republicans have suggested they harbor misgivings.

The administration already is selectively cutting $487 billion from the Pentagon budget over 10 years, an approach it calls prudent in light of shrinking combat commitments abroad and concerns about budget deficits at home.

Panetta has stressed his concern about Congress failing to find a way around the $500 billion in mandatory automatic cuts to the defense budget over 10 years, starting in January, which he said would require a “meat-ax approach” to savings.

“We are convinced that it would result in hollowing-out the force and inflicting severe damage to our national defense,” Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February.

The House bill challenges the administration’s proposal on several important fronts. One provision would block planned increases in health care fees for certain military retirees. The administration argues that the increases are overdue and the savings needed to preserve spending elsewhere.

The bill also would prohibit the Air Force from retiring certain Air National Guard planes, as called for in the administration’s plan. Numerous governors have pushed back hard against the administration’s proposed aircraft cuts and reassignments.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>