Friday, March 17, 2017

Pentagon’s FY17 supplemental sets up budget caps fight

Pentagon’s FY17 supplemental sets up budget caps fight: By presenting the majority of its fiscal year 2017 defense supplemental funding request as base budget dollars rather than special war funding, the Trump administration has set itself on a collision course with Congress, top Pentagon budget officials confirmed Thursday.

John Roth, the acting comptroller for the Pentagon, Army Lt. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, director of Force Structure, Resources and Assessment (J8) on the Joint Staff, confirmed that the $30.9 billion supplemental request will require Congress to pass language changing caps put in place by the Budget Control Act — something analysts were quick to point out is unlikely to happen.

Of the supplemental request, $25 billion is in base budget funding, which will largely go towards equipment — including adding five F-35 joint strike fighters, buying 24 new F/A-18E/F planes for the Navy, and giving the Army 20 new AH-64 Apache helicopters. There is also a wide-ranging investment in munitions, something the Pentagon has expressed concern about over the last two years.