The battle between the administration and House Democrats over fiscal year 2020 and 2021 spending is prompting concern it could eventually lead to a DOD budget freeze, according to a Defense News report.
If there is no agreement by Oct.1, it could force a continuing resolution (CR) leaving the Pentagon at 2018 spending, or cause automatic sequestration, including $71 billion in defense cuts.
Senate Republicans have warned recently that without quick action on negotiations following the current recess, prolonged delay could lead to losses in military readiness.
Potential sequestration would go into effect in January 2021 without a long-term deal.
Politico has recently reported that the White House wants to raise its leverage with Congress by delaying negotiations until after the 2019 budget and the debt ceiling expire late September.
Rick Berger, a former Senate Budget Committee aide now at the American Enterprise Institute, fears current border and electoral politics could lead to a CR.
“From the perspective of the Senate GOP, this is not a good idea because the longer we go without a deal, the higher the chance that everybody throws up their hands and just takes a full-year CR,” Berger said. “This then goes from ‘how do we thread the needle on a caps deal’ to ‘how do we blame the hell out of each other for the 2020 race.’”
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