House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry has argued that while the Obama Administration purports to have increased funding for defense, the White House has wittingly sacrificed funds needed to provide for a common defense. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, negotiated between Congress and President Obama, increased FY2017 national defense spending caps to $610B, including $551 billion of base funding and $59 billion of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. Charmain Thornberry’s argument is that these funding levels, specifically the OCO account, should be considered spending floors and not caps. “Any additional unidentified emergent requirements…should be added to the President’s budget submission.”
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter provided details about what would be included in the FY2017 budget. Notably, Secretary Carter previewed $7.5 billion for the campaign against ISIL (a 50% increase over FY2016) and $3.4 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative (a $2.6 billion increase over FY2016). The following day, speaking at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the Secretary said that $2 billion would be spent over the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) to upgrade and procure Tomahawk missiles (only $461 million was included in the FY2016 FYPD).
In this report, Fairmont analyzes these gaps between commitments and caps in spending. View the report.
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