More details are starting to emerge about the Trump administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget request, expected to be delivered to Congress next week, and the congressional budget process it will set off:
- The budget will request money to “back fill” any military construction projects put on hold to build a border wall, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment Robert McMahon told ADC Installation Innovation attendees Monday.
- Neither the House nor Senate plans to include earmarks in their fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills. There has been interest in renewing and reforming the practice, which advocates call “directed appropriations” and which opponents call “pork-barrel” “pet projects.” Earmarks fell out of favor several years ago after a string of high-profile abuses.
- The Pentagon wants to retire the USS Truman a decade early to save money, according to Breaking Defense. CQ reported that then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made the call, which would cut the carrier fleet from 11 to 10 and is already meeting backlash on Capitol Hill.
- The Space Force will cost $2 billion over its first five years and involve 15,000 personnel, Defense News reported.
- Congress will also need to consider raising the debt limit. The U.S. government hit its current borrowing limit Saturday, but, as Government Executive reported, the Treasury Department plans to use accounting tricks to make it until summer to give Congress time to raise or suspend the limit.
- Defense spending could become part of the 2020 campaign debate, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) promising in his presidential campaign launch to cut defense spending, according to the Washington Examiner. Among Sanders’s opponents in the Democratic primary are three women who serve on their chambers’ armed services committees – Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii).
USS Truman. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Swofford