More Defense Budget Preview: $26B More ‘Possible, But Unlikely’
National Defense Magazine reports that “the particulars of the $496 billion defense budget will be unveiled tomorrow, but two other funding mechanisms could boost military spending and help alleviate the pain of the Budget Control Act, an analyst said.
One wild card is the Obama administration’s Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative that would boost defense spending by $26 billion in exchange for tax and spending reforms. The military could also continue to use its Overseas Contingency Operations funds — a wartime fund that is separate from the base budget — to soften cuts to accounts, said Todd Harrison, senior fellow of defense budget studies for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
But don’t bank on either to provide real relief. The former initiative is unlikely to be approved by Congress, Harrison said during a conference call with reporters. The latter fund could disappear in just a few years, and the Defense Department has yet to work out how it would fit OCO expenses back into the base budget.