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WASHINGTON -- Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., announced today that the committee has completed its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. The committee voted 23-3 to report the bill, which authorizes funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy (DOE). “This bipartisan bill provides for our nation’s defense and upholds our obligations to our men and women in uniform and their families. The committee adopted important measures to address readiness problems caused by sequestration and to require the Department of Defense to cut costs and operate more efficiently” Levin said.
1. Sustains the quality of life of the men and women of the all-volunteer force (active duty, National Guard, and Reserves) and their families, as well as Department of Defense civilian personnel, through fair pay, policies, and benefits, and addresses the needs of the wounded, ill, and injured service members and their families.
2. Reduces our Nation’s strategic risk by taking action aimed at restoring, as soon as possible, the readiness of the military services to conduct the full range of their assigned missions.
3. Provides our servicemen and women with the resources, training, technology, equipment, and authorities they will need to succeed in combat, counterinsurgency, and stability operations.
4. Enhances the capability of the U.S. armed forces to support the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) and Afghan Local Police as the lead responsibility for security throughout Afghanistan’s transition to the ANSF.
5. Enhances the capability of the U.S. armed forces and the security forces of allied and friendly nations to defeat al Qaeda, its affiliates, and other violent extremist organizations.
6. Improves the ability of the armed forces to counter emerging and nontraditional threats, focusing on terrorism, cyber warfare, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery (including ballistic missiles).
7. Addresses the threats from nuclear weapons and materials by strengthening nonproliferation programs, maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent, reducing the size of the nuclear weapons stockpile, and ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the stockpile, the delivery systems, and the nuclear infrastructure.
8. Terminates troubled or unnecessary programs and activities, identifies efficiencies, and reduces defense expenditures in light of the Nation’s budget deficit problems. Ensures the future capability, viability, and fiscal sustainability of the all-volunteer force.
9. Emphasizes the reduction of dependency on fossil fuels and seeks greater energy security and independence, pursues technological advances in traditional and alternative energy storage, power systems, operational energy tactical advantages, renewable energy production, and more energy efficient ground, air, and naval systems.
10. Promotes aggressive and thorough oversight of DOD’s programs and activities to ensure proper stewardship of taxpayer’s dollars and compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
FOR THE FULL MARKUP, CLICK HERE.
If sequestration continues into fiscal year 2014, the Defense Department will be forced to consider involuntary reductions-in-force for the civilian workforce, draconian cuts to military personnel accounts and a virtual halt to military modernization, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a letter to Senate leaders July 10. The senators had requested detailed information on how continued sequestration could affect the military.
n the letter, Hagel detailed the "Plan B" the department must confront if Congress does not pass legislation that averts sequestration in fiscal 2014. If the process continues, DOD will be forced to cut $52 billion more from the budget that year. Hagel stressed in the letter that he fully supports President Barack Obama's fiscal 2014 budget request and noted that if sequestration remains in effect, "the size, readiness and technological superiority of our military will be reduced, placing at much greater risk the country's ability to meet our current national security commitments."
Congress gave DOD some flexibility to handle the cuts need for fiscal 2013, but more than 650,000 DOD civilians must still be furloughed without pay for 11 days. However, the cuts in 2014 are too great even for flexibility within accounts to handle. DOD hopes to avoid furloughs in 2014, the defense secretary said, but if sequestration remains in effect, "DOD will have to consider involuntary reductions-in-force to reduce civilian personnel costs."
TO VIEW THE ENTIRE LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CLICK HERE.
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