All this is a bit of the traditional game, Howell said. The Pentagon proposes cuts, and inevitably Congress restores them.
In a sign of the give-and-take to come between Congress and the executive branch, the response from key Members of Congress with sway over the budget process was swift and deliberate following Gates announcement.
The buck stops with Congress, which has the critical constitutional responsibility to decide whether to support these proposals, said Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, a key stopping point for the budget in Congress.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.