- Mission Support/Community Partnerships
- April 12, 2017
An internal memo circulated within the Pentagon in May reveals the amount of effort DOD put into countering the House plan to evade the statutory budget caps by using $18 billion from the overseas contingency operations account (OCO) for base budget items not requested by the Obama administration. “We should attack” House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) plan “and be prepared to play hardball opposing it,” says the May 13 memo prepared for Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Deputy Secretary Bob Work, reports Politico …READ MORE
Family and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) programs, such as fitness and community centers and libraries, will be scaled back at Army installations in fiscal 2017 as the service absorbs a 23 percent cut in funding for those activities. Cuts in service may be implemented through reduced operating hours, higher customer fees or elimination of certain activities. Decisions on where to make cuts will be made at the garrison level after installations determine which programs are most affordable and popular, reported Stars and Stripes. The Army estimates it will receive a $105 million cut for family and recreation programs in FY 2017 …READ MORE
Despite almost-universal opposition to the statutory spending caps from defense advocates since the 2011 Budget Control Act was enacted, defense budget experts on Monday said the limits should remain in place to keep DOD spending in check.
“I would keep the Budget Control Act, or at least budget caps, because I think the process needs discipline, but I would raise them for defense and probably non-defense also,” former Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale said during a discussion at the Brookings Institution. Ideally, Congress would reach a multi-year budget deal that addresses entitlements, revenue and the deficit, said Hale, currently a senior fellow at Booz Allen Hamilton …
Senate debate on the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill came to a halt following a dispute over amendments, after the chamber defeated two proposals to override the statutory spending caps by stashing billions of extra dollars in DOD’s war fund. Progress stalled late Thursday when Mike Lee (R-Utah) objected to a request from Armed Services Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) to consider an amendment preserving the special immigrant visa program for Afghans hired by the U.S. government under unanimous consent. Lee said he supported McCain’s language, but would not accede to the request unless he was assured a vote on his own amendment …READ MORE