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.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.