Information is the foundation of good decision making. Expert, timely targeting and analysis of public information, along with understanding that comes from personal access to leading decision makers provides all DLM clients with a "Need to Know" status that insures they receive accurate, timely information to guide their activities. Use our Blog as a resource on the ideas of today and the issues of tomorrow.

DLM ALERT – Omnibus Appropriations Bill Released

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers  

Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/

For Immediate Release: January 13, 2014

Fiscal Year 2014 Government Funding Bill Released

Bipartisan omnibus bill fulfills Ryan-Murray budget agreement, prevents government shutdown 

After a month of negotiations, Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski and House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers have come to an agreement on discretionary funding for the federal government for fiscal year 2014.

WASHINGTON, D.C.House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, House Appropriations Ranking Member Nita Lowey, and Senate Appropriations Ranking Member Richard Shelby today announced the release of the fiscal year 2014 consolidated appropriations bill.

The bill meets the terms set by the Ryan-Murray budget agreement, providing $1.012 trillion for the operation of the federal government and avoiding a government shutdown. The bill repeals the recently enacted cut to cost of living adjustments, or COLAs for disabled military retirees and survivors.

The Chairs and Ranking Members made the following joint statement on the legislation:

“We are pleased to have come to a fair, bipartisan agreement on funding the government for 2014. Although our differences were many and our deadline short, we were able to a draft a solid piece of legislation that meets the guidelines of the Ryan-Murray deal, keeps the government open, and eliminates the uncertainty and economic instability of stop-gap governing. Furthermore, our legislation includes a bipartisan fix to repeal last year’s cut to COLAs for disabled military retirees and survivors. 

“As with any compromise, not everyone will like everything in this bill, but in this divided government a critical bill such as this simply cannot reflect the wants of only one party. We believe this is a good, workable measure that will serve the American people well, and we encourage all our colleagues to support it this week.”

#####

 

DLM ALERT – January Legislative Agenda Released

MEMORANDUM

TO: House Republicans

FR: Eric Cantor

DT: Friday, January 3, 2014

RE: January Legislative Agenda

Happy New Year! I hope the holiday season allowed you to enjoy time with family and reflect on the important work we have ahead of us this year. As the Second Session of the 113th Congress gets under way, we have a number of items to consider in the month of January which are outlined below.

Our issues conference at the end of this month will provide us time to gather as a party and construct a legislative agenda for the year. We must, as always, remain focused on our conservative policies that can help grow the economy, lessen the burden of government, and provide opportunity for America’s hard working taxpayers. Our conservative policies have proven to provide the solutions to the challenges families are facing including increasing economic security and creating more opportunity for advancement.

Our agenda must reflect the input from each of our members and I look forward to hearing from you before, during, and after the issues conference this month.

Obamacare

The American people have witnessed the Obama administration flailing in its attempts to fix a health care law that is broken and cannot be fixed. Time and again, the president and his administration have unilaterally waived portions of their signature law without congressional consent. The House will continue in our efforts to demand accountability for these actions and to exercise our constitutional duty of oversight of Obamacare as the coalition supporting the law continues to crack. Our efforts will be shaped by our desire to help protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law, and knowing there is a better way.

Several of our colleagues, including Diane Black, Kerry Bentivolio, and Gus Bilirakis have introduced legislation to require prompt notification in the event of a breach involving personal information. It is my intent to schedule legislation on this topic when we return next week. In the coming weeks, we will continue to address other areas of this failed law where greater transparency is called for, including requiring the administration to provide reliable and complete enrollment data. We will remain vigilent in our oversight as our committees aim to hold the administration responsible for its failures in implementing their signature piece of legislation.

These steps will be part of the overall effort to protect the American people from the harmful effects of Obamacare by ultimately repealing and replacing the law with patient focused reforms that expand access, ensure quality care, and help control costs.

Appropriations

With the Bipartisan Budget Agreement signed into law, Chairman Hal Rogers and the Appropriations Committee are drafting legislation to fund the government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2014. The

committee’s efforts include a thorough line-by-line analysis to help ensure that the spending plan reflects our priorities.

This spring, we can expect a robust season of oversight and continued emphasis on spending reforms which reflect our priority of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

Iran

Iran remains perhaps the most significant national security threat facing the United States and its closest allies. Its determined pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and support for terrorism and instability must be stopped. It is my hope that the House, in a bipartisan manner, can express our concerns about Iran’s aggression and state our position on what a comprehensive settlement of the nuclear issue should look like.

Conference Reports

Chairmen Frank Lucas and Bill Shuster, along with our conferees, continue to work towards agreement with their Senate counterparts on the Farm bill and WRRDA conference reports, respectively. These two conference reports represent new ideas on how government programs should work and as soon as they are ready for consideration, I expect to schedule these in the House.

Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)

Removing barriers to job creation imposed by the federal government remains a priority. Our colleagues Cory Gardner, Bill Johnson, and Bob Latta produced legislation which reforms the EPA’s regulatory process to ensure that the federal government reduces the red tape inhibiting job creation and keeps our environment healthy. These important bills will come to the floor as a package aimed at improving the federal and state relationship when dealing with hazardous waste.

Conclusion

The floor schedule will include additional items as they are resolved throughout the month. Looking forward, several outstanding issues may be brought to the floor over the next few months, including: the Intelligence authorization, flood insurance, as well as legislation related to trade and immigration. We can also expect action on the statutory debt ceiling some time during the first part of the year.

Upon returning to Washington, the House will stay focused on our common sense conservative solutions to the problems Americans are facing in this New Year. I am convinced that by our staying united in this effort, we will achieve significant policy victories in the year ahead.

Thank you for all the hard work you do on behalf of your constituents and all Americans.

Happy New Year!

DLM ALERT – Statement of Administration Policy on Budget Agreement

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503

                                                                                                  December 11, 2013

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

House Amendment to H. J. Res. 59– Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013

(Rep. Ryan, R-WI)

The Administration supports House passage of H. J. Res. 59 – Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.  The legislation would replace a portion of the across-the-board sequester that has harmed students, seniors, and middle-class families and has served as a drag on the Nation’s economy over the last year.  The legislation would allow for critical investments in areas such as education, infrastructure, and scientific research, while keeping the Nation on the path to long-term deficit reduction.  The legislation includes targeted fee increases and spending cuts designed in a way that does not hurt the Nation’s economy or the Federal Government’s commitments to seniors. 

The Administration urges the Congress to pass this bipartisan agreement and looks forward to working with the Congress to enact clean, full-year FY 2014 appropriations bills based on this agreement in order to continue growing the Nation’s economy and creating jobs.  In addition, the Congress should extend unemployment insurance before it expires at the end of this year so more than a million Americans looking for work do not lose a vital economic lifeline right after the holidays, and the Nation’s economy does not suffer.

* * * * * *

DLM ALERT – Summary of FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report Released by House Armed Services Committee Chairman “Buck” McKeon

 

Fact Sheet: FY14 NDAA Summary
Highlights of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014
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 preparing for future threats; and finally controls costs while making wise choices with restrained resources.
Process:
This legislation is substantially based on two bills: (1) HR. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY14 which passed the House on June 14, 2013 by a vote of 315-108; and (2) S.1197, a product of the Senate Armed Services Committee which passed out of committee on the same day by a vote of 23-3. Because passing this legislation before the end of the calendar year is vital, these two products were merged through a series of negotiations at all levels of the House and Senate. Negotiators also considered, and in many cases included, a number of proposals offered by members of both parties that were intended for consideration by the full Senate. This legislation represents a broad bi-partisan consensus about America’s national security goals, resources, and policies.
Featured Sections:
I.   Resources for a Dangerous World
II.  Support and Protect America’s Warfighters and Military Families
III. Facing Conflict with Resolve and Accountability
IV. Controlling Costs and Making Wise Choices
V.   Protecting America Today While Preparing for Future Threats
RESOURCES FOR A DANGEROUS WORLD
Members share Americans’ concerns not only for their national security, but also their economic security. With this in mind, the NDAA funding is set at the common position for national defense, reflected in the House Budget (which funded our national defense at pre-sequester levels while complying with the overall sequester budget cap of $967billion for discretionary funding), the President’s budget request, and the Senate Budget. The funding authorized by the NDAA is also consistent with the budget proposed by the Republican Study Committee, as well as House and Senate Appropriations bills. Chairman McKeon supports the House budget effort to offset defense sequester through cuts in lesser priority programs.
AUTHORIZED FUNDING LEVELS: Consistent with the House budget, this legislation authorizes $552.1 billion in spending for national defense and an additional $80.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations. This is consistent with levels authorized in the FY 13 NDAA for the base budget and $7.8 billion less for war spending. (Funding Table Below)
 FY14 NDAA Funding Levels:
Purpose                                                                                            Amount ($ billions)
DOD Discretionary Base Budget Request                                              $526.8
DOE Discretionary Base Budget Request                                               $17.6
FY 14 Discretionary NDAA Topline                                                        $544.4*
Defense Mandatory Spending                                                               $7.7**
FY14 NDAA Topline                                                                              $552.1
Overseas Contingency Operations                                                         $80.7
*Does not include $7.6 billion of authorization not within the jurisdiction of the HASC (The Armed Services Committees)** Includes statutory requirements for Concurrent Receipt; does not include $0.6 billion of obligations outside jurisdiction of HASC (The Armed Services Committees)The NDAA is consistent with the House passed budget, which was careful to identify other non-defense sources to accommodate the needed funding in national security accounts while also reducing overall spending below the Budget Control Act cap. The House budget passed with 221 Republican votes on March 21, 2013.
SUPPORT AND PROTECT AMERICA’S WARFIGHTERS AND MILITARY FAMILIES
The legislation provides our warfighters and their families with the care and support they need, deserve, and have earned; while protecting them not only from foreign enemies intent on doing them harm, but from the unacceptable risk of sexual assault from within the force. Vital provisions include:
Troop Pay:  The NDAA supports current law, which is intended to ensure pay for our troops keeps pace with the civilian sector, but provides the President with latitude to make exceptions by executive order. President Obama has notified Congress that he intends to use his authority to set the 2014 military pay increase at 1 percent. The NDAA neither affirms or rejects the President’s decision.
ESSENTIAL PAY AND BENEFITS:  The NDAA also includes combat pay and other benefits promised to the troops.
TRICARE:  HASC Members believe access to quality healthcare services during retirement is a benefit earned through prior service to our nation. Mindful of Congress’ commitment to service members and their families, and endorsing the bi-partisan work of the military personnel subcommittee, the NDAA once again
rejects all Administration proposals to increase TRICARE fees or establish new TRICARE fees. Congress has already put TRICARE on a sustainable path through reforms in several recent NDAAs. Those reforms connect TRICARE fee increases to retiree cost of living increases. DOD’s record of incorrectly calculating TRICARE costs and their repeated requests to transfer billions in unused funds out of the program to cover other underfunded defense priorities raises questions about repeated claims by the Department of Defense that the Defense Health Program is unsustainable.
Combatting Sexual Assault In The Military: Members of the Armed Services Committees are deeply committed to making sexual assault prevention and prosecution a cornerstone of this year’s NDAA. As a proud Army grandfather, the Chairman well understands the responsibility of Congress to protect our forces from external and internal dangers. The NDAA includes substantial bi-partisan reforms recommended by the subcommittee on military personnel; especially those measures introduced by Reps. Turner and Tsongas and Reps. Walorski,  Noem, Castro, and Sanchez. The legislation includes over 30 provisions or reforms to the Uniform Code of Military Justice related to combatting sexual assault in the military. These reforms would strip commanders of their authority to dismiss a finding by a court martial- a power they have held since the earliest days of our military. It would also prohibit commanders from reducing guilty findings to guilty of a lesser offence. Where service members are found guilty of sexual assault related offenses the NDAA establishes minimum sentencing guidelines. Currently, such guidelines only exist in the military for the crimes of murder and espionage.  Personnel records will now include information on sex-related offenses.  Recognizing that victim support is as vital as prosecution, the NDAA would allow victims of sexual assault to apply for a permanent change of station or unit transfer, while authorizing the Secretary of Defense to inform commanders of their authority to remove or temporarily reassign service members who are the alleged perpetrators of sexual assault. The NDAA requires the provision of victims’ counsels, qualified and specially trained lawyers in each of the services, to be made available to provide legal assistance to the victims of sex-related offenses. The NDAA adds rape, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct to the protected communications of service members, with a Member of Congress or an Inspector General- and expands those protections for sexual assault crimes. The NDAA eliminates the 5year statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault. To better protect victims’ rights, the NDAA reforms the Article 32 process to avoid destructive fishing expeditions and properly focus on probable cause. A number of victim’s rights policies are enshrined in statute.  Finally, to ensure that the military is better positioned to deal with the crisis of sexual assault within its ranks, the NDAA requires the Secretary of Defense to assess the current role and authorities of commanders in the administration of military justice and the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Gender-Neutral Standards: After a decade of honorable service in hostile environments, women have demonstrated a wide range of capabilities in combat operations. Chairman McKeon welcomes DoD’s review of jobs within the military to see what new roles could be open to women, and appreciates the use of gender-neutral standards as a means of entrance to individual military specialties.  The NDAA establishes a definition of a gender-neutral occupational standard that would be used by each military service to develop the standards required for all military career designators.
Religious Liberties Protections: The NDAA expands religious freedom provisions for chaplains and service members to include beliefs and expression of beliefs.
Protecting and Supporting Warfighters and Military Families: Other provisions in the NDAA are designed to protect warfighters and their families from external threats, while ensuring that units and families are supported and prepared for deployments. The NDAA re-authorizes personnel recovery authorities used by military commanders and Special Operations Forces to plan and execute the save recovery of U.S. personnel isolated during military and contingency operations. The NDAA requires a minimum 180 day notification before the cancellation of a deployment and a minimum 120 day notification before a deployment for individuals for the operational reserves. It also authorizes the commander of U.S. Special Forces Command to provide additional family support services to U.S. Special Operations Forces and their families.  body armor. The NDAA facilitates the development of ever more functional, lighter, and more protective body armor. It will make body armor resemble a more traditional weapon system acquisition program that can build on successive generations of innovation and investment, rather than using the ad hoc procedures now in place. The NDAA also requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct a comprehensive study and assessment on ways to improve body armor and personal protection equipment acquisition and development.
FACING CONFLICT WITH RESOLVE AND ACCOUNTABILITY
The NDAA ensures that America’s forces are ready, robust, flexible, and capable enough to face national security threats with resolve. The NDAA provides our warfighters with the resources and authorities they need to win the warin Afghanistan and keep up pressure on al Qaeda and its affiliates. It holds senior commanders, senior civilianofficials, and the Commander-in-Chief accountable for their choices and actions in an ever changing and increasinglydangerous world.
Restoring Readiness To Our Armed Forces:  In order to face any of the manifold challenges to America’s security, our Armed Forces must first be at an acceptable state of readiness.
The size, speed, and mechanism of recent defense cuts along with the systematic underfunding of contingency operations, have forced military readiness to historic lows and is already putting our warfighters at risk. Heeding the repeated warnings of America’s senior commanders, the NDAA restores vital readiness accounts by replacing funds reprogrammed to cover underfunded combat operations and addressing other vital operations and maintenance programs; while remaining consistent with House budget levels.  The NDAA meets the President’s Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) request, replenishing readiness accounts raided in prior years to cover underfunded war costs. This includes restoring Army and Air Force flying hour programs, facilities sustainment, ship depot maintenance for each service, Army OPTEMPO, depot maintenance, Navy critical spares and combat support forces equipment and sustainment, and provides for the stabilization of fuel rates.  While these steps will help, only a comprehensive solution to defense resources, strategy, and roles and missions, can fully resolve the issue.
Winning The War In Afghanistan: The NDAA reauthorizes vital authorities for our commanders on the ground and key programs to address the critical transition period between now and the end of calendar year 2014. It also reauthorizes vital authorities for U.S. Special Operations Forces and counter-narcotics programs. The most important element of the transition in Afghanistan is achieving a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between the United States and the Government of Afghanistan. The NDAA fully funds a series of important authorities that support the Afghanistan and U.S. national security interest, including the Afghan Infrastructure Fund (AIF), the transition in Afghan Security Forces Fund (ASFF) and the Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP).However, the NDAA prohibits the use of half of the funds for those authorities until the Secretary of Defense certifies that the BSA is signed and is in the national security interests of the United States.  Priorities the Secretary must address include critical protections for U.S. service members and U.S. interests. The NDAA also requires the Secretary to issue an unclassified summary of information related to detainees held at the detention center at Parwan, Afghanistan.  Recognizing that coalition forces are at particular risk as they withdraw from Afghanistan, the NDAA tasks GAO to report on the composition of U.S. forces and their particular security requirements during the withdrawal of forces.  Before any public announcement on a post 2014 presence is made, the NDAA calls on the President to consult with Congress regarding the size, mission and estimated duration of such a presence. Additionally, the NDAA requires a report on the plan to disrupt and degrade the Haqqani Network.
Pakistan:  The NDAA recognizes the strategic value of our relationship with Pakistan, as well as the challenges that accompany it. The NDAA requires the Secretary of Defense to report on the terms and agreements associated with the movement of U.S. supplies and equipment through ground lines of communication (GLOC) with Pakistan.  While the NDAA reauthorizes important coalition support funds for Pakistan; use of those funds will be restricted until the Secretary certifies that Pakistan is fully supporting the movement of supplies through the GLOCs in Pakistan as well as supporting counterterrorism operations against terrorist groups that threaten the United States; disrupting cross-border attacks against the U.S. and coalition in Afghanistan; and countering the flow of IEDs into Afghanistan.
Terrorist Attack In Benghazi: While the House Armed Services Committee continues its inquiry into the tragic events in Benghazi on September 11-12, 2012, the NDAA will ensure that DOD applies the lessons already learned. The NDAA requires a report from the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff related to Benghazi. The report will cover the posture and readiness of U.S. Armed Forces to respond to a request by the Department of State to support embassy security in the event of a similar attack.
Syria: The NDAA provides enhanced authority for the DOD’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program to destroy Syria’s chemical weapon and requires the Department to develop a cooperative threat reduction strategy to combat weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and North Africa.  Understanding that unilateral response to the Syrian crisis is not in America’s best interest, the NDAA authorizes the Armed Forces to train and equip regional partners for WMD response.  Additionally, the NDAA authorizes support for Jordanian border security to secure that country’s border with Syria.
Iran: The NDAA recognizes the continued threat posed by Iran. The annual Iran Military Power Report is expanded to include an assessment of Iran’s global network of terrorist and criminal groups as well as how such groups operate to support and reinforce Iran’s grand strategy. The NDAA also requires a report on military partnerships with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the impact of shifting programs from OCO funding to the DOD base budget and the steps that DOD has taken and is planning to take to improve coordination, effectiveness, and interoperability of regional missile defense systems. Finally the NDAA authorizes integrated air and missile defense with GCC countries.
Accountability on the Battlefield:  The NDAA holds the Commander-in-Chief accountable for his policies on the battlefield. The bill requires the Secretary to notify Congress of any new Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) and those that have been renewed, terminated, or amended. The NDAA also expands authorities aimed at combating contracting with the enemy, allowing programs that have worked well in the CENTCOM AOR to be implemented across all combatant commands. The NDAA requires the Secretary to assess the affiliates and adherents of al Qaeda and the evolving threat they pose to U.S. national security.
Oversight of Targeted Operations: The NDAA incorporates all of the key provisions of HASC Vice Chairman Mac Thornberry’s Oversight of Sensitive Military Operations Act (OSOMA),
as a vehicle for formalized and stringent oversight of targeted lethal or capture operations by the Armed Forces overseas.
Accountability for Vital Strategic Programs and Assets: In order to maintain America’s vital strategic edge, the NDAA includes several provisions aimed at holding the Executive Branch accountable for critical systems. The NDAA prohibits the transfer of some missile defense technology to Russia and strengthens congressional oversight of Administration efforts with regard to U.S.- Russia missile defense cooperation generally. The NDAA requires a report on Russian strategy, doctrine and training, force structure, and military-to-military contacts. The NDAA also reforms DOD’s business process with commercial satellite companies ensuring that strategic competitors do not gain inadvertent access to vital systems or information.  Additionally, the NDAA requires the DOD to develop a strategy to lower the cost, thorough through multi-year procurement, ofcommercial satellite services.  The NDAA also ensures the Air Force maintains the capability to deploymultiple nuclear warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), should technical problems or deteriorating international relations require doing so, and restricts efforts to unnecessarily reduce U.S. ICBM forces. In order to protect national security, the NDAA prohibits the President from approving the installation of Russian satellite ground stations in the United States that pose a threat to U.S. national security.  The NDAA further regulates the manner in which the President implements the New START treaty and protects the Nuclear TRIAD.  The NDAA also includes several provisions to control costs, improve efficiency, andprioritize nuclear modernization programs within the nuclear security enterprise. Additionally, the NDAA supports key national security space activities, including an emphasis on space protection and Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) programs in light of increasing foreign threats, as well as support for fair competition onthe evolved expendable launch vehicle program.
Institutional Accountability: The NDAA also holds national security institutions accountable to strict oversight,especially those who are playing vital roles in defending America against the terrorist threat. The NDAA requires a policy governing defense intelligence priorities and limits the funding for the Defense Clandestine Service(DCS) until the Secretary certifies that the program primarily fills DOD’s unique requirements. The NDAA directs the Secretary of Defense to review the future roles and missions of SOCOM and U.S. Special Operations Forces. In response to major security failures at America’s nuclear facilities, the NDAA implements several initiatives to
improve security at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), including requiring the NNSA administrator to annually certify the security of nuclear weapons, materials, and classified information. The NDAA also expresses congressional concern about recent restructuring within the Office of the Secretary that makes the Office of Net Assessment subordinate to the Undersecretary for Policy.
CONTROLLING COSTS AND MAKING WISE CHOICES
In an era of constrained resources, the NDAA makes controlling costs a top priority. However, the NDAA also guards against achieving false short-term savings at the expense of vital long-term strategic capabilities.
Bureaucratic Reduction: The NDAA requires several steps toward reducing wasteful bureaucracy within DOD. It requires the Secretary to develop a plan for the future role of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). Additionally the NDAA requires the Secretary to determine if the Air Sea Battle Office is duplicative of efforts more efficiently carried out by the Joint Staff. The NDAA also reduces flag officer billets by 24.
Platform Accountability: The NDAA recognizes that the taxpayer must be protected against poor choices and cost overruns from troubled acquisition programs. To that end the NDAA expresses concern with the design associated with the Arleigh Burke class Destroyer Flight 3, s Ground Combat Vehicle development until the Secretary of the Army submits a status report to Congress, and requires the Secretary of the Army to report on a strategy to improve the fuel efficiency of the M1 Abrams Tank.  Two acquisition programs, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JCS) term sustainment plan for the autonomic logistics information system. LCS also requires a lifetime sustainment plan, as well as improved oversight. The NDAA requires GAO to report on the procurement of a new Presidential Helicopter.
Confidence in Cost Estimates in Reporting: Select cost reports will be required to include data regarding confidence in data as an effort to predict cost overruns.
Efficiency Studies: The NDAA tasks GAO with carrying out several studies with intent to reduce bureaucracy. GAO will examine US Central Comma along with all functional combatant commands and propose changes to curtail the expansion of headquarters staff. GAO will apply the same approach to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Joint Staff (JCS), and the Service Secretaries.  based budget. Additionally, the NDAA requires the DOD to develop a strategy year procurement, of commercial satellite services.
Naval Resources: The NDAA supports the retention of seven Navy cruisers and two amphibious ships proposed for early retirement.
BRAC: Understanding that a round of base closures at this time would not only be costly, but reflect temporary budget pressures at the expense of long term strategic assets, the NDAA
prohibits DOD from initiating another round of BRAC.
Training Ranges: The NDAA recognizes the twin pressures defense cuts and sequestration have already taken a heavy toll on military training. The NDAA will ensure DOD has continued access to military training ranges such as Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range.
Guantanamo Bay: The NDAA maintains the prohibition against transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States and the prohibition on construction of detainees facilities in the United States. The NDAA also maintains limitations on detainee transfers to third countries designed to forestall reengagement.
Executive Compensation Reform: The NDAA recognizes the White House’s formula for calculating allowable private sector compensation on DOD contracts has become dysfunctional and does little to protect the taxpayer or provide transparency in government contracting. The NDAA rationalizes the cap to $625,000 and does away with the flawed formula. The NDAA
allows for the cap to be adjusted based on the Employment Cost Index, which is commonly known and publically available index computed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The NDAA rejected calls by some to cap individual industry compensation at the President or Vice President’s salary level, as such a standard represents an arbitrary comparison between compensation and salary and will only serve to drive critical talent from the nation’s defense industrial base.
Industrial Base Matters:  The NDAA includes a new title in the bill to protect and secure defense industrial base capacity and security. Included are provisions to assist small businesses and to strengthen the Procurement Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program. The title also includes provisions to increase transparency in reporting of small business participation and strengthens the requirements for small business subcontracting plans, reporting and goals.
Science and Technology: The NDAA creates new authorities to strengthen the ability of DOD laboratories to support the continued development and expansion of its workforce and facilities. It extends authorities to provide for the exchange of information technology personnel between private industry and DOD. The NDAA also authorizes the ability to
award prizes for advanced technology achievements. wide Science and Technology investments, including workforce development for defense labs, and defense-wide directed energy programs.
Armor Brigade Combat Team Force Structure and Industrial Base: The NDAA continues investment in the Army’s combat vehicle industrial base by providing additional funding for Abrams tank upgrades and heavy equipment improved recovery vehicles. The additional funding will ensure we maintain a viable industrial base and avoid unnecessary national risk from relying solely on foreign military sales to sustain this critical national capability.
PROTECTING AMERICA TODAY WHILE PREPARING FOR FUTURE THREATS
The NDAA continues investment and oversight for vital systems while preserving our capacity to meet future challenges.
Defense Intelligence: The NDAA authorizes critical national security activities and programs including cyber security and operations, combatting weapons of mass destruction, counter terrorism, defense intelligence, and Special Operations Forces. This includes a requirement that the Secretary of Defense create a policy that governs defense intelligence priorities.
The NDAA requires an assessment by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on DOD input into the National Intelligence Priorities Framework . Recognizing that robust Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities are vital to current combat operations in Afghanistan, as well as emerging threats like the proliferation of al Qaeda affiliates in North Africa, the NDAA ensures ISR resources are maximized by requiring the Secretary to submit a plan related to the drawdown of defense intelligence assets in Afghanistan; and prevents the premature retirement of Global Hawk block 30 unmanned aircraft through the end of 2014.
Missile Defense: Defending against ballistic or theater missile attack is an important priority for U.S. National Security. The NDAA increases missile defense spending above the President’s budget request, while still well below planned missile defense funding when the President was first elected. It prohibits the use of U.S. funding to allow Chinese missile defense systems to be integrated with U.S. or NATO systems. The NDAA invests in proven and vital systems like Iron Dome – including providing new authority and resources for co-production of Iron Dome – and provides significant resources above the President’s request for other Israeli Cooperative Missile Defense programs, like Arrow 2, Arrow 3, and the David’s Sling Weapons System. The NDAA provides funding for planning for the deployment of an East Coast missile defense site, while the Missile Defense Agency undertakes siting and environmental studies- noting that both the Bush and Obama Administrations have supported an additional homeland missile defense site. Finally, the NDAA provides additional resources for new Homeland missile defense radar and a new Homeland missile defense interceptor kill vehicle.
Cyber Threats: Recent reports only enhance Congress’ concern about the threat posed by cyber attack. The NDAA requires DOD to conduct a mission analysis for cyber operations and examine the proper balance of cyber capabilities across national security organization as well as a report on the coordination of cyber and electronic warfare activities.  The NDAA would also require DOD to provide congressional notification when investigations are initiated or completed regarding network cyber intrusions that result in the compromise of critical information. Additionally, the NDAA would require the Defense Science Board to conduct an independent assessment of the organization, missions and authorities of U.S. Cyber Command, and require DOD to create standards for cyber operations training. The NDAA provides important authorities to the Department of Energy to ensure the integrity of its information technology supply chain – this is similar to authority available to DOD and the Intelligence Community and is critical following the discovery of Chinese-supplied technology linked to the People’s Liberation Army at one of the nation’s most important nuclear weapons laboratories.
Pacific Rebalance: The NDAA recognizes the increasing strategic importance of Guam and reaffirms the PACOM Combatant Commander’s request for hardened facilities to deter future aggressive actions from strategic competitors, and requires an analysis on missile defense capabilities in Guam. The NDAA also prohibits the Department of the Navy from retiring certain ships that have over 10 years of hull life available. The NDAA requires expanded military power reports covering China and North Korea. Forward basing has been vital to the military’s rapid response in defense of American interests. The NDAA continues to invest in forward basing and requires DOD to report on the continued requirement of forward basing- especially in Europe – in support of CENTCOM and AFRICOM missions.
Building Partnership Capacity: The NDAA provides support and enhanced congressional oversight of key DOD building partnership capacity authorities, including expanded 1206 Global Train & Equip authority to engage with security forces conducting counter terrorism operations, improving Global Security Contingency Fund reporting requirements State Partnership Program, and extension and expansion of the authority to support those forces countering the Lord’s Resistance Army.
National Guard and Reserve Equipment Modernization: The NDAA supports modernizing National Guard and Reserve Components by providing additional funding in a National Guard and Reserve Component Equipment Account.
Vital Platforms: The NDAA continues investment in weapons systems vital to addressing future threats including supporting the Navy’s authorization request for a nuclear aircraft carrier,
CVN 78; multi-year procurement for the E-2D Hawkeye and C-130J Super Hercules; modernization of the C-130H aircraft for the National Guard and Reserve; support for KC-46 tanker, the
Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B), additional funding for advance procurement of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle, and additional investment in the Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial systems.
###
Courtesy of House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
 For questions, please call the Committee at (202) 225-2539

DLM ALERT – Appropriations Chairman Rogers Supports Budget Agreement

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers  

 Rogers Praises Ryan-Murray Budget Deal

Agreement holds the line on spending and helps to avoid another government shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C.House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today praised the House and Senate Conference Committee on the Budget for coming to an agreement on topline spending levels for fiscal year 2014 and 2015. The agreement will allow work to begin on legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

“Chairs Ryan and Murray should be commended on their agreement. This type of deal takes courage and resolve, and they have done their very best to find common ground. Not only does this deal hold the line on spending, it actually puts a dent in our annual deficit – a significant accomplishment. Plus, it opens the door for future progress on the problem of runaway entitlements, and paves the way toward budget and economic stability for the next two years,” Chairman Rogers said.

“In addition, this budget conference agreement will now allow bicameral negotiations on Appropriations bills to begin. These Appropriations bills will provide the discretionary funding needed to keep the government operating – thus avoiding another potential government shutdown and more piecemeal, stopgap spending measures,” Chairman Rogers continued.

The Budget Conference agreement sets the fiscal year 2014 discretionary spending limit at $1.012 trillion, approximately $45 billion above the current level of $986 billion. The agreement will also “turn off” the next round of budget cuts caused by sequestration, which would have resulted in a more than $20 billion cut to the Defense Department. The budget agreement not only fully offsets these increases, it includes even more savings for the taxpayer.

The Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate will now begin negotiations on a final fiscal year 2014 legislative package. The current deadline for the completion of these negotiations is January 15, when the current Continuing Resolution expires.

“The agreement provides some certainty for the annual Appropriations process, allowing my Committee to get to work and make the hard, thoughtful, responsible, line-by-line funding decisions that are Congress’s duty to make,” Chairman Rogers said. “We have a huge challenge ahead of us – we must craft legislation funding the entirety of the federal government in just one month. However, I know my colleagues on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are up to the task, and I’m optimistic that we can reach a mutually acceptable deal in a timely fashion.”

#####

 

 

DLM ALERT – Appropriations Chairwoman Mikulski Statement Supporting Budget Agreement

For Immediate Release

CHAIRWOMAN MIKULSKI’S STATEMENT ON BIPARTISAN BUDGET AGREEMENT

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement in support of the bipartisan budget agreement reached today by Budget Committee Chairmen Patty Murray and Paul Ryan:

“This bipartisan budget agreement has my support. It helps create certainty for America’s families and businesses by preventing another government shutdown and averting sequester for two years. I hope it marks an end to the shutdown, slowdown, slamdown politics that have damaged our economy and families. Delay is no way to run a nation.  I commend Budget Committee Chairmen Murray and Ryan for their hard work to reach this bipartisan agreement.

“The Murray-Ryan budget agreement, first and foremost, prevents harm to American families, seniors, children and veterans. It protects seniors and families by preserving the social safety net of Medicare and Social Security.

“Second, it puts middle class families first by ending this lurching from crisis to crisis so we can make smart choices about investments in America’s future. That means creating jobs today with investments in infrastructure like roads, bridges and clean water. And creating jobs for tomorrow with investments in research and discovery that lead to life-saving cures and new ideas that lead to new products and new jobs.

“This bipartisan agreement means we can meet national security needs while meeting compelling human needs like education, health, and housing.

“As Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, I support this agreement because it avoids sequester for two years. This means we can fund the operations of government through regular, annual appropriations bills, instead of through last minute, stop-gap bills that put the government on autopilot. It also means creating certainty that’s crucial to the stability of our economy and our standing and reputation in the world.

“We’ve taken a step forward in rebuilding trust among ourselves and with the American people. I look forward to continue building that trust by working across the dome and across the aisle to produce a bipartisan, fiscally responsible appropriations bill that makes smart choices for the American people.

“Though I support this agreement, it’s a compromise and it’s not perfect. I’m deeply disappointed it requires some federal employees to pay more for their retirement. For too long, federal employees have been scapegoats of deficit reduction. I would have preferred for negotiators to find savings by closing tax loopholes and cancelling outdated dust bowl era farm subsidies.

“But because of this agreement, federal employees can get their cost-of-living increase and they will no longer face the uncertainties of furloughs and pay cuts. And I’m so relieved the agreement rejects the draconian proposal to make federal employees pay 5.5 percent more for their retirement.

“I’m on the side of federal employees. I fought hard to make sure federal employees can get their first their cost-of-living increase in four years.  They can count on me to keep fighting for them.”

###

 

DLM IN DEPTH – BUDGET AGREEMENT SUMMARY

Summary of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013

December 10, 2013

BUDGET ENFORCEMENT

The budget proposal authorizes an increase in discretionary spending for fiscal year 2014 and fiscal year 2015. The revisions for defense discretionary and non-defense discretionary spending are shown in Table 1. Table 1. Caps on Discretionary Budget Authority
Defense Discretionary Spending Non-Defense Discretionary Spending
2014 2015 2014 2015
Current Law $498,082,000,000 $512,046,000,000 $469,391,000,000 $483,130,000,000
Proposed Cap $520,464,000,000 $521,372,000,000 $491,773,000,000 $492,456,000,000

The budget proposal saves $28 billion over ten years by requiring the President to sequester the same percentage of mandatory budgetary resources in 2022 and 2023 as will be sequestered in 2021 under current law.

PREVENTION OF WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE

Improving the collection of unemployment insurance overpayments

This provision expands the use of the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) to all states so they can recover certain unemployment-insurance (UI) debts, such as overpayments because of fraud or failure to report earnings.

Strengthening Medicaid third-party liability

This provision reinforces Medicaid’s standing as the payer of last resort by letting states delay paying for certain claims—to the extent that it doesn’t harm the beneficiary’s access to care—to ensure payment. It allows states to collect medical child support in cases where health insurance is available from a non-custodial parent. And it lets Medicaid recuperate costs from beneficiary-liability settlements.

Restriction on access to the Death Master File

This provision creates a program under which the Secretary of Commerce restricts access to information contained on the Death Master File (a list of deceased individuals and their Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and dates of death, maintained by the Social Security Administration) for a three-year period beginning on the date of an individual’s death—except to persons who are certified under the program to access such information sooner. A penalty of $1,000 is imposed for each improper disclosure or misuse of information obtained from the DMF, up to a maximum of $250,000 per person per calendar year. The Secretary is required to establish and collect user fees sufficient to recover all costs associated with the certification program.

Identification of inmates requesting or receiving improper payments

This provision gives Treasury the legal authority to obtain Prisoner Update Processing System (PUPS) data and make it available for those programs in which prisoners are ineligible for benefits.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Ultra-deepwater and unconventional natural gas and other petroleum resources

This provision repeals the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research Program—a research and development program created in 2005—and rescinds the program’s remaining funds.

Amendment to the Mineral Leasing Act

This provision makes permanent a requirement that states receiving mineral revenue payments help defray the costs of managing the mineral leases that generate the revenue. It saves $415 million over ten years.

Approval of agreement with Mexico and Amendment to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

This provision approves the U.S.–Mexico Transboundary Agreement, which will set up a framework to explore, develop, and share revenue from hydrocarbon resources that lie in waters beyond each country’s exclusive economic zones. Another provision gives the Secretary of Interior the authority to implement the U.S.–Mexico agreement and any future transboundary hydrocarbon reservoir agreements entered into by the President and approved by Congress.

Federal oil and gas royalty prepayment cap

This provision limits the amount of interest payable to lessees on royalty overpayments to up to 110 percent of the amount due.

Strategic Petroleum Reserve

This provision rescinds all available funds in the “SPR Petroleum Account.” This provision permanently repeals the Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s authority to accept oil from Interior’s royalty-in-kind program.

FEDERAL CIVILIAN AND MILITARY RETIREMENT

Federal Employees’ Retirement System

These sections increase federal-employee contributions to their retirement programs by 1.3 percentage points. The proposal affects new employees in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) hired after January 1, 2014 with less than five years of service.

Annual adjustment of retired pay and retainer pay amounts for retired members of the Armed Forces under age 62

This provision modifies the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees by making the adjustments equal to inflation minus one percent. This change would be gradually phased in, with no change for the current year, a 0.25 percent decrease in December 2014, and a 0.5 percent decrease in December 2015. This would not affect service members who retired because of disability or injury. Service members would never see a reduction in benefits from one year to the next.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Default Reduction Program

This provision reduces the compensation guaranty agencies receive for rehabilitating a loan from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, beginning July 1, 2014.

Elimination of nonprofit servicing contracts

This provision eliminates the mandatory spending for payments to non-profit student-loan servicers, and instead ensures they will be paid with discretionary funds in the same manner as other student-loan servicers.

TRANSPORATION

Aviation security service fees

This provision increases Transportation Security Administration (TSA) fees and simplifies how the fees are assessed.

Transportation cost reimbursement

Under current law, the Maritime Administration must reimburse other federal agencies for the extra costs associated with shipping food aid on U.S. ships. This proposal repeals that requirement.

Sterile areas at airports

This provision requires TSA to continue monitoring exits from the sterile area at the 155 airports that currently receive this service. The section has no effect on approximately two-thirds of airports.

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Extension of customs user fees

This provision allows the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue collecting user fees through FY 2023.

Limitation on allowable government contractor compensation costs

This provision limits how much a contractor could charge the federal government for an employee’s compensation to $487,000.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premium rate increases

This provision raises the premiums that private companies pay the federal government to guarantee their pension benefits.

Cancellation of unobligated balances

Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund

This provision permanently cancels a portion of the unobligated balances in the Department of Justice’s Assets Forfeiture Fund.

Treasury Forfeiture Fund

This provision will permanently cancels a portion of the unobligated balances in the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.

Conservation planning technical assistance user fees

This provision allows the National Resources Conservation Service to charge a fee for providing technical and financial assistance on the development of individualized, site-specific conservation plans.

Self plus one coverage

This provision allows the Office of Personnel Management to offer a self-plus-one option in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Names New Members

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers  

Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/

For Immediate Release: December 4, 2013

Contact: Jennifer Hing, (202) 226-7007

 

Chairman Rogers Announces Three New Republican Members of Appropriations Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C.House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today announced that three new Republican members will join the House Appropriations Committee.

Rep. Mark Amodei (NV-02), Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02), and Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02) were approved by the House Republican Steering Committee today.

“I am pleased to welcome Representatives Amodei, Roby, and Stewart to the Committee, and look forward to working side-by-side with them as we tackle our formidable work ahead. Members of the Appropriations Committee have tough jobs to do, and have a great responsibility to properly fund the federal government and support the well-being of the nation,” Chairman Rogers said. “These dedicated public servants have proven their commitment to the responsible shepherding of federal tax dollars, to the regular Appropriations process, and to both the people of their districts and the American people as a whole.”

The slots on the Committee opened following the resignations of Congressmen Rodney Alexander and Jo Bonner, and the death of Defense Subcommittee Chairman C.W. Bill Young.

 

#####

 

 

DLM ALERT – Statement of Administration Policy on NDAA

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

S. 1197 – National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2014

(Sen. Levin, D-MI)

The Administration appreciates the Senate Armed Services Committee’s continued support of our national defense in S. 1197, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.  In particular, the Administration appreciates the support of the Committee for authorities that assist the Armed Forces in operating in unconventional and irregular warfare and countering unconventional threats, support capacity building efforts with foreign military forces, and support contingency or stability operations, as well as its support for the one percent pay raise for members of the uniformed services.  The Administration also commends the Committee for working to offer stronger protections for sexual assault victims.

While there are a number of areas of agreement with the Committee, the Administration has serious concerns with certain provisions.  Several provisions would constrain the ability of the Armed Forces to align military capabilities and force structure with the President’s strategy, impede the ability of the Secretary of Defense to reduce overhead and make programs more efficient, and constrain efforts to implement the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan.  The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to address these and other concerns, a number of which are outlined in more detail below.  The Administration also looks forward to reviewing a classified annex and working with the Congress to address any concerns on classified programs.

Detainee Matters:  The Administration appreciates the Committee’s constructive proposals regarding transfers of detainees held at the U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The Committee’s provisions are a significant improvement over existing law.  Of course, even in the absence of any statutory restrictions, the Administration would transfer a detainee only if any threat the detainee poses can be sufficiently mitigated and only when consistent with our humane treatment policy.  The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with Congress on refining these provisions to ensure that they provide necessary flexibility to the Executive Branch.

TRICARE Fees and Co-Payments:  The Administration believes that military retirees deserve quality, sustainable health care benefits.  For this reason, the Administration strongly supports its requested TRICARE fee initiative that seeks to control the growth of health care costs at the Department of Defense (DOD) while keeping retired beneficiaries’ share of these costs well below the levels experienced when the TRICARE program was implemented in the mid-1990s.  The projected FY 2014 TRICARE savings of $902 million and $9.3 billion through FY 2018 are essential for DOD to successfully address rising personnel costs.  DOD needs these savings to balance and maintain investments for key defense priorities, especially amidst significant fiscal challenges posed by statutory spending caps.  The Administration strongly urges the Congress to support the proposed TRICARE fee initiative.

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC):  The Administration strongly objects to section 2702, which would make a formal review of the overseas military facility infrastructure a precondition for authorizing any future BRAC round.  The Administration has been reviewing DOD’s overseas infrastructure, and the results of that analysis will inform future infrastructure decisions.  However, the effort to configure our overseas infrastructure in a more efficient way should not prevent the authorization of another round of BRAC analysis for domestic bases.  The Administration urges the Congress to provide the BRAC authorization as requested, which would allow DOD to right size its infrastructure, while providing important assistance to affected communities.  Without authorization for a new round of BRAC, DOD may not properly align the military’s infrastructure with the needs of the evolving force structure, which is critical to ensuring that limited resources are available for the highest priorities of the Armed Forces and national security.

Life Extension Program:  The Administration strongly objects to section 1043, which would require DOD and the National Nuclear Security Administration to develop cost estimates for four separate life extension program (LEP) options as part of the W78/88-1 Phase 6.2/6.2A Feasibility and Cost Study.  The current study scope will inform a cost/risk/benefit decision on a warhead with an interoperable nuclear explosive package that can be used on multiple platforms.  Including efforts to determine feasibility and costs for full scope LEPS on the W78, W88, and W87, and W78/88-1 would significantly delay completion and increase costs of the feasibility study.

Research & Development Funding Reductions:  The Administration objects to the $100 million reduction for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the $100 million reduction to the Navy’s Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) weapon development.  DARPA’s innovative research leads to breakthrough discoveries and helps maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military.  Full funding for DARPA is important to adequately support ongoing programs and initiate new research activities.  The OASuW development effort is necessary for rebalancing the Department’s mix of force structure and program investments towards the Asia-Pacific theater of operations, and is essential to supporting future operations against heavily defended targets in anti-access/area-denied environments.  The OASuW’s development is aligned with Combatant Commander priorities and leverages existing DARPA investments to enable delivery of required capabilities in the most expeditious and economical manner at the lowest risk.

Retention of Navy Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Platforms:  The Administration strongly objects to section 124(b)(2), which would require the Navy to maintain the current number of EP-3 aircraft allocated under the Global Force Management Allocation Plan.  The Department is executing a Joint Requirements Oversight Council-approved Maritime ISR and Targeting Transition Plan, which would maintain the ISR capability resident in the legacy force (EP-3/SPA) and develop the future force (P-8 QRC/MQ-4C Triton/Triton Multi-INT) to provide Combatant Commands with a scalable, interoperable, and persistent ISR capability.

Military Construction Projects Funded Using In-Kind Payments:  The Administration strongly objects to section 2801, which would require that military construction projects funded by in-kind payments from partner nations be submitted for congressional authorization in the annual National Defense Authorization Act.  Construction projects provided pursuant to bilateral agreements with host countries or as in-kind payment of residual value are accomplished by sovereign partner nations.  This proposed change in law would result in host nations awaiting actions by the U.S. Congress before they would spend their funds for projects to be constructed in their countries.  At the very least, our partner nations would regard this process unnecessarily burdensome and interfering in their domestic defense decisions.  This requirement could have a negative effect on our ability to secure significant cost-sharing support.

Realignment of Marines Corps Forces in Asia-Pacific Region:  The Administration strongly objects to the limitations imposed by section 2821 on the obligation of funds for the realignment of U.S. Marine Corps units from Okinawa to Guam and Hawaii, a goal to which successive Administrations have remained steadfastly committed since 2006.  A key aspect of the Asia-Pacific rebalance is to create a more operationally resilient Marine Corps presence in the Pacific and invest in Guam as a joint strategic hub.  By preventing the timely obligation of United States and Government of Japan funds to implement this realignment, section 2821 would unnecessarily restrict the ability and flexibility of the President to execute our foreign and defense policies in coordination with our ally, Japan, and undermines a key component of the broader U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific region.  Further, the Administration has serious concerns regarding the section 2821 restrictions on the development of public infrastructure on Guam, and the lack of authorization for a military construction project (aircraft hangar) that would directly support the realignment.  These actions would raise questions among regional states about the reliability of the United States security commitments to allies in the region.

Streamlining DOD Management Headquarters:  While the Administration recognizes that there are opportunities for streamlining and reducing duplication in headquarters staffs, we object to section 905 to develop a plan with particular budgetary or fiscal targets, which would preclude the Department from appropriately sizing its workforce to meet its mission workload.  The Secretary of Defense has already issued similar guidance and the Department is planning for a 20 percent reduction in headquarters, including restructuring and streamlining DOD headquarters in the Services, the Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Limitation on the Availability of Funds for the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO):  The Administration objects to subsection (c) of section 1533, which requires the Government of Afghanistan to agree to use future oil and mineral royalties to reimburse the United States for TFBSO-funded economic assistance.  It is not the policy of the U.S. Government to seek reimbursement for economic assistance programs.  In addition to contradicting long-standing precedent, this provision could harm U.S.-led efforts to build a sustainable Afghan economy and secure a long-term revenue source for the Afghan central government.

Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (SIV):  The Administration appreciates the inclusion of sections 1217 and 1218, relating to authority for SIVs for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals.  The Administration supports extension of these programs, but notes its concern with the broadening of the class of aliens who would be eligible, and considers the periods of extension provided for under sections 1217 and 1218 insufficient to meet projected program demand for either Iraq or Afghanistan.  We look forward to working with the Congress on these and other appropriate modifications to sections 1217 and 1218 to ensure Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have aided U.S. efforts in these countries through their work, and who have experienced or are experiencing an ongoing serious threat as a result, are able to apply for these visas.

Training U.S. General Purpose Forces with Military and Other Security Forces of Friendly Foreign Countries:  The Administration appreciates the Committee’s support for authorizing training of general purpose forces of the U.S. Armed Forces with military and limited other security forces of friendly foreign countries.  However, the Administration urges that section 1203 be revised to conform to the Administration’s requested purposes and authorities, including concurrence of the Secretary of State, in order to ensure that the focus remains exclusively on the intended purpose to benefit U.S. forces and remains consistent with essential foreign policy considerations.

Personnel Security Clearances:  Given recent events, the Administration opposes section 931 as we are currently conducting a comprehensive 120-day interagency Suitability and Security Processes Review under the Performance Accountability Council, led by the Office of Management and Budget.  The Administration recognizes the need to further strengthen the Personnel Security Clearance Investigations (PSI) program, but given the scope of the Review, the Administration requests that the Senate defer action and not proceed with section 931,which could create a direct conflict with the existing governance structure of a single Security Executive Agent.  The Administration is committed to engaging with the Senate Armed Services Committee and other Congressional committees on the Review’s findings and recommendations to improve the security clearance process.

Supervision of the Acquisition of Cloud Computing Capabilities for Intelligence Analysis:  The Administration appreciates the inclusion of section 943, which addresses the interoperability between a DOD intelligence analysis system and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (ODNI) Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (IC ITE).  The Administration interprets this provision as allowing DOD to pursue cloud computing capabilities for the Department and does not interpret this provision as intending to supersede the DNI’s current efforts with respect to IC ITE.  As a matter of good governance, the ODNI and DOD will continue their efforts to appropriately align their respective IT systems to enable their related missions.

Trans Regional Web Initiative (TRWI):  The Administration opposes section 343 because prohibiting the Secretary of Defense from expending any funds to continue the TRWI and the associated websites would effectively remove an important Military Information Support Operations tool used by the Geographic Combatant Commanders in support of their missions as directed in the Unified Command Plan.  TRWI is the Department’s only synchronized online influence effort able to challenge the spread of extremist ideology and propaganda on the Web.  Earlier this year, the Department, pursuant to congressional certification requirements in section 1535 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, addressed many of the concerns raised in the Committee report by demonstrating that the TRWI is the most cost-effective means for reaching audiences which affect achievement of Geographic Combatant Commanders Theater Campaign Plan objectives.

Limitation on Allowable Cost for Contractor Employee Compensation:  The Administration commends the Senate for including section 841, which would set the cap establishing the reimbursement limit on compensation for contractor employees at $487,000.  Eliminating the current statutory formula for setting the cap — which has caused the limit to soar by more than 300 percent from $250,000 in the mid-1990s to close to $1 million in FY 2012 – and replacing it with a more reasonable baseline is an important step in restoring fiscal responsibility to federal contracting and giving relief to taxpayers who have been saddled with paying excessive compensation costs to contractors.  We urge the Senate to apply this reform government-wide, as proposed by the Administration, so that this change can be applied uniformly and consistently to all contractor employees who do business with the Federal Government, both defense and civilian.

Land Withdrawals:  The Administration urges the inclusion of the renewals of withdrawals for the China Lake, Limestone Hills, and Chocolate Mountains ranges.  These withdrawals are critical to the continued readiness of the nation’s armed forces.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Programs:  The Administration objects to the restoration of funding for the STARBASE program, which would perpetuate the Federal Government’s fragmented approach to STEM education, whereby more than 220 programs are scattered across 13 agencies.  The Administration’s proposed reorganization of STEM programs would improve STEM education quality and outcomes across the Federal Government.

Constitutional Concerns:  A number of the bill’s provisions, such as section 1065 and 1236, raise additional constitutional concerns, including interference with the President’s authority as Commander in Chief to direct deployment and use of the armed forces and exclusive authorities related to international negotiations.

The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to address these and other concerns.

 

* * * * * * *

 

DLM ALERT – New Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs Announced

Chairman Rogers Announces New Subcommittee Chairmanships

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today announced four changes in the Chairmanships of Appropriations subcommittees for the 113th Congress.

The changes were needed due to the passing of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who was Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, and the retirement of Rep. Rodney Alexander, who was Chairman of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee.

“Being an Appropriations Cardinal is an incredibly important job with great responsibility. Year after year, these Subcommittee Chairs are called on to do the tough work of funding the federal government, rooting out waste, making hard decisions on where and how to best use taxpayer dollars, and being responsible and pragmatic leaders who get the job done. I have full confidence that these new Chairmen will meet these challenges – and more – as we face the difficult fiscal landscape ahead,” Chairman Rogers said.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), formerly Chairman of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, will take the helm of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

“Rodney is a thoughtful, steady, and strong leader, is staunchly dedicated to doing what is best for the country and his district, and has a determined focus that allows him to rise above politics to get things done. He has an unwavering devotion to the safety and security of our nation, and to the care and protection of our men and women in uniform, and I know he will be a great leader of the Defense subcommittee,” Chairman Rogers said.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), formerly Chairman of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, will now head the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

“There are very few who know more about the nation’s energy and water needs than Mike Simpson. His leadership, experience, drive, and professional focus make him an excellent fit to chair this subcommittee. I know that he is committed to making the most out of every precious taxpayer dollar, to ensuring that our nation continues to strive toward energy independence, and to fostering an environment that allows our businesses to create jobs and grow the economy,” Chairman Rogers said. “I am looking forward to working with him in his new role.”

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) will move up the ranks and assume a Chairmanship for the first time as the leader of the Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment.

“Leading the subcommittee in charge of funding everything from our National Parks to the Environmental Protection Agency is an extremely difficult job. Ken is not only up to the task, but will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be an excellent asset to the Committee and to the country as we tackle many fiscal challenges in the future. Ken has proven to be an exceptional leader in eliminating waste and inefficiency in government, has fought for programs and policies that benefit not only the people of his district but all Americans, and has the focus and determination needed to ensure that this important budgetary work gets done,” Chairman Rogers said.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) will also become a new Subcommittee Chairman, leading the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch.

“The Legislative Branch Subcommittee takes on the important work of providing funding for the operations, safety, and upkeep of the Nation’s Capitol. It is sometimes a thankless job, but this subcommittee is vital to the functioning of our democracy, and Tom Cole will be a tremendous asset as its new leader. He is dedicated to the careful and responsible use of tax dollars – especially in Congress’s backyard – and he understands the importance of ensuring an open, accessible, and safe environment for the thousands of Members, staffers, and visitors who come to the Capitol every day,” Chairman Rogers said.

#####