|From:||CPEO Moderator <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||1 May 2003 14:17:00 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Hearing on DOD overhaul bill trumps readiness markup|
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY/DEFENSE Hearing on DOD overhaul bill trumps readiness markup Suzanne Struglinski, Environment & Energy Daily reporter The House Armed Services Committee has cleared its scheduled slew of markups on the Defense authorization bill this week, including today's expected vote on the Pentagon's request for environmental law changes, to make way for a hearing on a Defense Department overhaul bill. The Defense authorization markups in the House Armed Services Readiness and other subcommittees have been postponed indefinitely. Instead, the full committee today will hear from DOD officials and other witnesses on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Transformation for the 21st Century Act, which also includes the proposed environmental law changes. Rumsfeld submitted the act just before the spring recess. It includes several provisions to change the military policies including length of service, age limits and pay rates, and shift certain military responsibilities from the Pentagon to the private sector. DOD included the Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative, its proposal to change five environmental laws in the name of military readiness, in the act "to increase our chances and get as much exposure as we can," a DOD spokesman said. The Pentagon is requesting changes to the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act (Environment & Energy Daily, March 6). Committee sources by press time could not confirm any witnesses or say if the hearing would specifically address the RRPI provision in the bill. Meanwhile, a Senate aide said yesterday that the Senate's Defense authorization bill will likely ultimately include at least the changes to ESA and MMPA, with the RCRA and CERCLA changes most likely added by amendment. It is unclear if the CAA changes will be added to the bill or moved in another context, the source said. Currently, the Senate's version of the bill, S. 747, introduced by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-Va.) on March 31, includes the RRPI in Title III, the Operations and Maintenance section. The bill contains all the modifications the Pentagon submitted to the Hill in early March but could change before the markup scheduled for next week. Schedule: The House Armed Services Committee hearing is slated for 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 1, in 2118 Rayburn. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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