A circuitous 2016 aegis spending bill that includes above Hampton Roads aggressive projects and changes to sailors’ pay and allowances was accustomed by Congress and beatific to President Barack Obama on Wednesday.
The legislation’s fate charcoal in doubt. Obama has threatened to veto it because of a accessory agitation over how to get about automated annual cuts.
The $612 billion aegis bill was accustomed by the House aftermost anniversary and the Senate on Wednesday. Virgina’s two senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner – both Democrats – voted for the bill, as did two of the region’s three congressmen.
Reps. Randy Forbes of Chesapeake and Scott Rigell of Virginia Beach, both Republicans, accurate it, but Rep. Bobby Scott, a Newport News Democrat, did not.
The altercation centers on automated annual cuts – accepted as aloofness – that crave caps on aggressive and calm spending as a way to affluence the federal deficit. The 2016 spending bill would accord the Pentagon $38 billion added than the cap allows by accretion allotment for a war-fighting account. That annual is absolved from the cap.
Obama and abounding Democrats disagree with abating aegis funds while befitting complete caps on calm programs.
Kaine – one of a scattering of senators who adjourned the final bill with the House – alleged it “a actual acceptable bill for the nation’s aegis and Virginia.” He accustomed that the footfall about the spending caps “was a abhorrent idea.”
Kaine contends the botheration can be anchored as Congress and the White House attack to accede on how to pay for the aegis plan and added federal programs in 2016. Congress has a two-step action for federal spending.
One set of legislation, such as the bill accustomed Wednesday, authorizes how money will be spent during a budgetary year.
The additional set is allotment bills that admeasure the money for the 2016 budgetary year, which began Oct. 1. Congress hasn’t agreed on any appropriations bills and abhorred a government abeyance aftermost anniversary by accordant to accumulate money abounding at this year’s bulk until Dec. 11 as it tries to ability a compromise.
Republicans, who ascendancy both chambers, said Obama would abuse civic aegis if he vetoes the allotment bill.
Here are some key accoutrement that affect southeastern Virginia:
Military pay: Most account associates would get a 1.3 percent pay accession – hardly beyond than this year’s 1 percent raise. The account basal pay for accepted and banderole admiral would be frozen.
Housing allowances: Account associates would aggregate abate account payments for aberrant housing. The subsidy would be cut 1 allotment point a year for bristles years until the acquittal amounts to 95 percent of the estimated bulk of aberrant apartment and utilities.
A Senate angle to decidedly cut the apartment allowance for affiliated couples who both serve in the aggressive was rejected.
Base closings: The Pentagon would be banned from spending money aing year for a new annular of abject closings or realignments.
Concealed weapons: Commanders of aggressive bases would adjudge whether account associates at their installations or recruiting centers could backpack buried firearms. Currently, that convenance is banned. Rigell proposed the change.
Commissaries: Legislators alone an Obama administering plan to cut the $1.4 billion federal subsidy for commissaries and abate the stores’ operating hours. Congress asked the Pentagon to devise a plan to annihilate the subsidy by budgetary year 2019.
Retirement benefits: A affecting change in the military’s alimony arrangement would action some anatomy of retirement plan for those who served at atomic two years in the aggressive rather than alone alms a alimony afterwards 20 years. The plan would be autonomous for accepted account associates but binding for newcomers.
The new arrangement would action a abate alimony afterwards 20 years in accession to a 401(k)-style account that a account affiliate could booty forth back he or she leaves.
The aggressive accumulation plan, agnate to the one federal advisers have, would acquiesce account associates to set up a retirement advance armamentarium that would abound through their bulk deductions and analogous federal contributions.
Health care: Account members’ families and acceptable retirees would see an access in their account co-payments for decree drugs. Account associates abide to accept chargeless bloom care.
Military architecture projects: Eight projects admired at $265.6 actor were accustomed for aggressive installations in Hampton Roads. The improvements bulk to 59 percent of the $449.8 actor in Pentagon projects accustomed in Virginia.
Aircraft carrier and abysmal construction: The bill authorizes connected allotment of architecture of the carrier Gerald R. Ford and added Ford-class carriers at Newport News Shipbuilding, as able-bodied as the check of the George Washington at the yard. The Navy additionally will acquirement two added Virginia-class submarines as allotment of a continuing multiyear procurement. The subs are a collective activity amid Newport News Shipbuilding and Electric Boat in Groton, Conn.
Bill Bartel, 757-446-2398, [email protected]
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