Summer Announcement on Army Downsizing Could Influence Congressional DOD Deliberations

first_imgThe Army’s announcement as to what installations would absorb the loss of 40,000 soldiers to accommodate discretionary spending caps may have been timed to produce a favorable outcome for the service when lawmakers begin taking up the defense budget, according to several analysts.“One likely reason for the timing is they’re trying to refocus attention on themselves and the cut in hopes of maybe getting this cut reversed or preventing additional ones,” Todd Harrison, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told CQ Roll Call.Beyond the debate in Congress over fiscal 2016 defense appropriations and next year’s authorization bill, the Army also is looking to influence Pentagon discussions over initial drafts of the FY 2017 budget, according to the story.The Army is in the position of shrinking its active-duty end strength to 450,000 by the end of FY 2018 because defense officials didn’t respond more quickly when the Budget Control Act was enacted.“They have to continue cutting because they didn’t put together a plan to live within the budget caps,” Harrison said. “They’ve been doing a lot of short-term budget maneuvers.”The Army says the timing of the decision was determined by Secretary John McHugh’s approved of the plan. “The secretary made a decision regarding these reductions on 08 July [and] we could not make any announcements until a decision was finalized,” said spokesman Lt. Col. Joseph Buccino.The Army’s latest force reductions cutbacks stem from “fiscal constraints resulting from the Budget Control Act of 2011 and defense strategic and budgetary guidance,” he said. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Wilmingtons Academy Of Traditional Karate To Hold FREE Self Defense Class For

first_imgWILMINGOTN, MA — Wilmington’s Academy of Traditional Karate (155 West Street, Suite 5) is holding a free Self Defense Class for community members on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, from 6:45pm to 7:45pm.The seminar will offer practical self-defense solutions, taught by instructors with years of martial arts and law enforcement experience. No martial arts experience required.Call 978-658-2077 or email TeamElite@Traditional-Karate.com for additional information.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington’s Academy Of Traditional Karate To Host Open House Carnival On August 17In “Community”The Wilmington Insider For July 17, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”Wilmington’s Academy of Traditional Karate To Host Open House On September 17In “Business”last_img read more

Johnson loses first byelection test as British PM

first_imgBritain`s prime minister Boris Johnson, accompanied by Britain`s home secretary Priti Patel, speaks at the first meeting of the National Policing Board at the Home Office in London, on 31 July. Photo: AFPBritain’s Boris Johnson lost his first test as prime minister on Friday after his candidate was edged out by a pro-EU rival in a by-election that slims his parliamentary majority to one.Thursday’s vote in the Welsh sheep farming community of Brecon and Radnorshire offered a stark choice between a Brexit-backing candidate from Johnson’s Conservative party and a Liberal Democrat who wants to preserve Britain’s four-decade stay in the EU.Johnson dropped by the region on Tuesday to help out Chris Davies — a Conservative MP who was forced to step down after becoming embroiled in an expanses scandal.Davies protested his innocense and contested the seat again but the Liberal Democrats’ Jane Dodds received 13,826 votes to Davies’ 12,401 after having two smaller pro-EU parties back her bid.The result extends a recent revival for the Liberal Democrats at the major parties’ expense.Its firm stand against Britain’s split from the European Union saw it come a surprise second behind populist eurosceptic Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the European Parliament elections in May.Farage’s candidate ate into the Conservative’s support by picking up 3,331 votes. The main opposition Labour Party — once a dominant force in Wales — came in a distant fourth with just 1,680.”My very first act as MP when I arrive in Westminster will be to find Boris Johnson wherever he is hiding and tell him loud and clear — stop playing with the futures of our communities and rule out no-deal Brexit,” a visibly relieved Dodds said.Test of strengthThe election was viewed as a test of strength for the “Boris bounce” that has helped the Conservatives regain a slim lead in some national opinion polls.Control of Brecon and Radnorshire has swung between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives since the 1990s. It voted 52 per cent to leave the European Union in the 2016 vote — mirroring the UK-wide result.But the controversies surrounding Davies turned this into an unusual contest whose outcome might not reflect either Johnson’s or Brexit’s true level of wider support.The defeat still leaves Johnson in danger of being unable to control parliament in the crucial runup to Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU on October 31.MPs are already plotting ways to thwart his threat to take Britain out by the twice-delayed deadline without a divorce deal.Johnson also needs to be able to pass legislation to make the potentially chaotic “no-deal” outcome as smooth as possible — and to pass any compromise he might suddenly strike with Brussels.The 650-seat chamber is fractured and includes MPs who at times switch sides or abstain at pivotal moments.This leaves Johnson dependent on the whims of just a few legislators at one of the most crucial points in British history since World War II.Fears of a no-deal divorce have already pushed the pound to its lowest levels since Britons first voted to leave in June 2016.The Bank of England warned Thursday that a messy split would drop the pound even further and slow growth this year and next to 1.3 percent from around 1.5 percent.Brexit PR blitzThe pound’s slump reflects broader business jitters both in Britain and its main trading partners in Europe.Johnson’s government is trying to boost its negotiating hand with Brussels by showing that the country is ready for any outcome.Finance minister Sajid Javid announced Wednesday an extra £2.1 billion ($2.6 billion, 2.3 billion euros) to prepare for leaving without an agreement.Politico reported that part of the money would be spent on a Europe-wide media blitz that included adverts in major continental newspapers aimed at convincing EU governments about the strength of Britain’s no-deal resolve.Some analysts questioned how much of the funding was new and whether it would actually be used in the 90 days remaining before Brexit.”We have to be prepared because we will be leaving on 31 October,” Javid said on Thursday.The main opposition Labour Party’s finance spokesman John McDonnell branded the funding an “appalling waste of taxpayers’ cash”.The Labour MP who heads parliament’s spending watchdog also pledged to investigate how the money was being spent.last_img

Hughes bill could save disabled veterans thousands

first_img State Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, has sponsored House Bill 4516, which would allow disabled veterans to obtain a property tax exemption for prior tax years, so long as they file with their local unit of government by this coming December.In 2013, the Legislature passed P.A. 161, also known as the “Dannie Lee Barnes Disabled Veteran Property Tax Relief Act.” This law provides for a property tax exemption on a homestead owned by a disabled veteran who was discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States under honorable conditions. To be eligible for the exemption, a veteran must have been determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) to be permanently and totally disabled as a result of military service and entitled to veterans’ benefits at the 100 percent rate, have a certificate from the U.S. Veterans’ Administration, or its successor, certifying that he or she is receiving or has received pecuniary assistance due to disability for specially adapted housing, or have been rated by the USDVA as individually unemployable.Because passage of this legislation came after tax bills were sent out in 2013, many qualified veterans were unaware of the benefit and did not file the necessary documentation with their local unit of government. In fact, many veterans still are unaware of this benefit, and those that are, have missed the opportunity to receive the exemption for the 2013 and 2014 tax years. House Bill 4516 would allow a veteran who met the criteria in 2013, 2014 or both, to provide documentation to their local taxing authority before the expiration of the December 2015 Board of Review, and the local unit would then grant the exemption retroactively.“Our veterans have given our state and nation so much and it is unfortunate that the state didn’t do more to inform them of this reasonable benefit,” said Rep. Hughes. “When officials in Fruitport Township brought this issue to my attention, I was more than happy to sponsor the legislation to help correct the oversight.”House Bill 4516 has been referred to the House Tax Policy Committee.“For veterans that deserve this exemption, they should not be penalized for things beyond their control,” said Brian Werschem, Fruitport Township supervisor. “This exemption should be afforded to them.”### 23Apr Hughes bill could save disabled veterans thousands Tags: #SB center_img Categories: Hughes News,Newslast_img read more