FY16 Defense Budget Update – (4 May 2015 – By: Greg Lankler – Mercury)
Lots of activity impacting DoD spending last week. The House passed a budget deal that allows Congress to exceed congressionally mandated caps for defense spending set in the Budget Control Act of 2011 without triggering sequestration. By increasing spending authority for wartime funds, the budget deal is a BIG victory for GOP defense hawks against fiscal conservatives. In addition, the House Armed Services Committee approved the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) taking full advantage of the budget authority granted them by the budget deal.
To fully understand what the budget resolution approved by the House accomplishes, one needs to acknowledge the shell-game that is being played here. Funding for the Department of Defense that is not war related (“base budget”) is subject to the budget caps. Funding that is war related, refered to as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding, is not subject to the budget caps. However, keep in mind that the definition of what belongs in one budget or the other is very subjective.
The president’s base budget request for DoD exceeded the budget caps by ~$38 billion. The budget resolution authorizes base budget funding at a level within the budget caps, but also provides an additional $38 billion above the president’s request for OCO funding. While it requires congressional defense authorizers and appropriators to get creative in defining what funding belongs in the base funding and what belongs in the OCO, ultimately this flexibility enables them to provide funding for DoD at the same level as the President’s total request.
The Senate is expected to approve the budget resolution this week. Although the agreement will keep some fiscally conservative Republicans from trying to pare back military funding, the defense budget still faces an upward climb. House and Senate appropriators will still have to agree to the heightened OCO fund, and President Barack Obama has said increases to defense accounts must be accompanied by a boost to domestic spending.
Following the direction included in the budget resolution, last week the House Armed Services Committee approved a $611.8 billion defense authorization bill that preserved funding levels requested by the military in the president’s fiscal year 2016 budget.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) recommends a $495 billion Pentagon base budget that remains below the congressionally mandated caps. However, to make the investments in procurement, personnel and research and development laid out in the president’s request, the committee used the flexibility provided by the increase in OCO funding included in the budget resolution to boost OCO
funding to $89.2 billion. This increase reflected an added $38 billion in operations and maintenance spending usually found in the base budget (see the shell-game now?).
The NDAA is slated for debate on the House floor next week, where it will come under the scrutiny of House appropriators, fiscal conservatives and others that could try to strip away the extra wartime funding. The House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to begin consideration of the defense appropriations bill the third week in May. The full House will consider this measure after the Memorial Day holiday. Senate action on both the NDAA and the defense appropriations bill will also begin after the holiday.
2015 UPCOMING EVENTS – FOR MORE DETAILS ON EVENTS LISTED BELOW VISIT
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MyMacDill HAS LAUNCHED!!!! HAVE YOU TAKEN THE OATH – Go to www.mymacdill.com and see all the ways to get involved.
18-22 May/Monday – Friday – The Tampa Club, 101 E Kennedy Blvd, Suite 4200, Tampa will be having Military Appreciation Week Open House from 0730 – Close; early arrivals on Saturday are welcome – bring ID or SOFIC registration receipt. The Tampa Club would like to provide a professional setting, buffet and a la carte menu options to Active Duty, Government Service, Retired Military, and SOFIC registered attendees to enjoy the amenities, collegiality, and social networking afforded at the Tampa Club. Identification is required. Attire: Military in UOD; GS/Retired Military/Civilian: Business Casual, Jacket preferred.
Suncoast Chapter of Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Soldiers’ Committee is kicking off the first ever Army 10 mile race in Tampa – “The HOOAH 10” which will be held in November 2015 at the Bill Young Reserve Center in Pinellas Park, FL. Sponsors are needed for the event – see attached sponsor letter for information and sponsorship opportunities.
CareerSource looking for Veterans that have a college degree and are under-employed or unemployed to participate in a no-cost entrepreneurship program. Startup Quest is for qualified people in the Tampa Bay area that are interested in starting a company or going to work for a startup or small business. If you or someone you know might be interested, please look at the flyer attached for more details and contacts.