Dan Cohen AUTHOR Republican leaders plan to enter budget discussions with the White House shortly to reach a deal over topline spending for fiscal 2016 and 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday.“I hope that we in the fall negotiation can get some kind of an agreement on a top line for next year so we can finally, at long last, get back to acting on each appropriations bill separately,” McConnell said, reported CQ Roll Call. The Senate leader also revealed that he and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) spoke with President Obama last week about launching budget talks.“I would expect them to start very soon,” McConnell said.An effort to reach a two-year budget deal would mirror the agreement reached in late 2013 that provided relief from the discretionary spending caps in FY 2014 and 2015 for defense and non-defense agencies.Meanwhile, the Senate is scheduled to vote this morning on a short-term continuing resolution that keeps the government open when the new fiscal year begins Thursday. The stopgap runs through Dec. 11 and does not strip Planned Parenthood of funding. After the Senate approves the CR, the House is expected to take it up before the end of the day to avert a federal shutdown.The House will only have a matter of hours to act before the midnight deadline, but House Republicans widely believe the chamber will pass the CR in time, according to CQ.Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) applauded the news that McConnell favors a two-year budget deal and stressed the need to combine negotiations over spending with an effort to extend the nation’s debt ceiling.“They have to be handled together. It’s the only way to intelligently do this,” Reid said.When asked about raising the debt ceiling before he steps down from his post at the end of October, Boehner on Tuesday did not rule it out. “We’ll have to see. There’s a number of issues we’re going to try to deal with in the coming month,” he told reporters.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The city of Abilene, Texas, seeks a consultant to perform a joint land use study (JLUS) for Dyess Air Force Base.A pre-proposal conference will be held Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. in the lower level conference room of the airport terminal. The city will receive sealed, written proposals in the office of the Purchasing Administrator, City Hall, 555 Walnut St., Room 201-A, Abilene, TX 79601 until 2 p.m. on Nov. 3.Proposal forms and specifications for RFP #CB-1608 may be obtained electronically. All proposals must substantially comply with specifications. To obtain a copy of the proposal, call (325) 676-6225. The city reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and to award the proposal considered most advantageous to the city.———–Image Source
Dan Cohen AUTHOR A Defense Department “delayering” initiative will trim headquarters staff costs by 25 percent in an effort to save $1.9 billion, according to David Tillotson III, DOD’s assistant deputy chief management officer.About 300 positions from the office of the secretary of Defense are being eliminated, including 243 that are filled. In defense agencies and field activities, 1,260 positions are slated for reduction. The streamlining is part of a broader reform, in which the department is restructuring its business processes and practices, particularly in support areas, Tillotson told DOD News.The restructuring will be carried out over several years, with many of the cuts being implemented through attrition. So far, officials are not making involuntary cuts, he said. The vast majority of affected workers will be placed in other positions or take voluntary actions, such as an early retirement or separation incentive payments.Last August, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work directed a 25 percent reduction of all appropriations funding for major DOD headquarters activities of military departments, the office of the secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, defense agencies and field activities, and combatant commands. The restructuring covers the period from fiscal 2016 to 2020.Tillotson said the savings generated by the initiative would be shifted into modernization and improving readiness and training.