In today’s Federal Newscast, almost three dozen former military officers and officials said the ban undermines national security.
The Trump administration’s “budget blueprint” includes a $54 billion increase in Defense spending, bringing the top-line spending for Defense to $603 billion and $462 billion for non-defense discretionary spending.
Familiar debates over the caps set in the Budget Control Act will crop again during the next administration, defense budget analyst Todd Harrison said at a press briefing marking the fifth anniversary of the 2011 law. The Defense Department has avoided many of the dire consequences it predicted would happen during 10 years of “devastating cuts.” But it’s used a series of workarounds to dodge many of the impacts.
The Pentagon’s budget chief, Robert Hale, told reporters that the economic impact of sequestration would be felt nationwide. The biggest potential losses, in term of total civilian payroll dollars, would be in Virginia, California, Maryland, Texas and Georgia, he said. Hale said the unpaid leaves for civilian workers would begin in late April and would save $4 billion to $5 billion if extended through the end of the budget year, Sept. 30.
The two departments are looking for “quick wins” in their integrated health-record strategy, aiming to bring the most important capabilities online three years early.
On Thursday, DoD eliminated its Clinton-era policy that excluded women from serving in many front-line jobs. But full implementation will not happen immediately.
Air Force commanders will get orders in the next few days to plan for the possibility of fewer flying hours, providing fewer office supplies and working on fewer IT upgrades. Part of the service’s planning will be to figure out how many civilian workers would need to be furloughed and for how long.
Defense Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter told DoD components Thursday to draw up plans for full-year continuing resolution, plus sequestration. The approach to deal with across-the-board cuts would be to freeze civilian hiring, cut training, travel and conferences and reduce business technology expenditures.
The movie “Zero Dark Thirty” suggests the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques led the U.S. to Osama bin Laden. Sen. John McCain watched the movie Monday night and says it left him sick – because it’s wrong.
The heads of DoD and VA met on Thursday, and decided they wanted to a plan to speed up the delivery of an integrated health record system, currently scheduled for implementation in 2017.