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.


 
 

 

Headlines July 21, 2014

News: IDF releases Iron Dome interception rate - Israel’s Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 86 percent of the Palestinian rockets that it has engaged during Operation ‘Protective Edge’, according to the Israel Defense Forces.   Business: The turnaround of France’s defense giant Thales - Within seconds of meeting Jean-Bernard Levy it becomes apparent that h...
 
 

News Briefs July 21, 2014

Corruption investigated in Kansas National Guard The Kansas Adjutant General’s office says federal authorities are investigating possible corruption involving outside medical companies’ contracts with the Kansas Army National Guard. Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the adjutant general’s office, confirmed the investigation Friday to The Lawrence Journal-World but declined to rel...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

B61 undergoes testing in AEDC wind tunnel

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend Arnold Engineering Development Complex engineers recently joined researchers with Sandia National Laboratories to perform a wind tunnel test on a full-scale mock-up B61. Pictured with the...
 

 
Army photograph by Charles Kennedy

New CT scanner finds diverse, important uses for researchers

Army photograph by Charles Kennedy Turning a now-standard tool for medical diagnostics and therapeutics to a host of new applications, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate rece...
 
 

Ingalls Shipbuilding awarded $23.5 million LHA 8 affordability contract

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded an affordability design contract for $23.5 million for early industry involvement to reduce the construction and life-cycle cost for the amphibious assault ship LHA 8. “Ingalls Shipbuilding has been constructing large-deck amphibious ships for nearly 50 years, and this contract will build on our company...
 
 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 




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>