More than 100 Republicans in the House have vowed not to support any fiscal 2016 spending bill that allocates less than $561 billion for DOD’s base budget, the amount requested by the Obama administration.
In a letter to House GOP leaders, 102 Republicans underscore the growing number of conflicts across the globe and the fiscal constraints already imposed on the military in demanding that the Pentagon be granted significant relief from the Budget Control Act spending caps this year.
“In light of the bleak assessments provided by our military leaders, we are writing to inform you that we cannot vote for any spending measure for FY 2016 that does not fund base requirements for national defense at or above the $561 billion level,” the group stated in the letter.
Most significantly, the letter — spearheaded by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee — warns congressional leadership against passing a full-year continuing resolution, a backup scenario for funding the government if bipartisan budget talks fail to produce a deal raising the caps on defense and non-defense spending, reports the Hill.
“Seeking to fund our defense activities through a full-year continuing resolution would bring about devastating consequences to our national security and would amount to an abdication of our principal duty to ‘provide for the common defense’ of the nation,” the letter stated.
While it’s not clear what the ultimate impact of the letter will be, it appears to be a show of strength by defense hawks unhappy with hardline conservatives who, in addition to forcing House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to step down, don’t want to negotiate higher spending levels. In that sense, the letter could increase pressure on GOP leaders to strike a deal with the White House and Democrats to raise the spending caps.