Tags: budget | defense | cuts | obama | pentagon

Obama Budget Includes $150 Billion in Defense Cuts

Wednesday, 10 Apr 2013 12:29 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The Pentagon unveiled a $526.6 billion budget on Wednesday that calls for base closures, program cancellations and smaller pay increases, but which is still $52 billion higher than spending caps set by law, putting the department on a path toward another year of financial uncertainty.

The Defense Department request for the 2014 fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1 asks Congress to implement a series of politically difficult cuts, involving a new round of base closure proceedings, increased healthcare fees and slower military pay increases.

While seeking ways to reduce spending in the current tight fiscal environment, the Pentagon budget would continue to fund high-priority programs and initiatives, including the strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific announced last year.

The budget includes $8.4 billion for continued development of the three variants of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon's most expensive procurement program.

It also includes $10.9 billion for new ship construction, $9.2 billion for missile defenses, $379 million for development of a new long-range bomber, $4.7 billion for cyberspace operations and $10.1 billion for space technologies.

"This budget made important investments in the president's new strategic guidance - including rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region and increasing funding for critical capabilities such as cyber, special operations and global mobility," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement.

The budget is part of President Barack Obama's spending plan sent to Congress. The president's budget stands little chance of being enacted into law and is meant to serve largely as a negotiating tool with Republicans, who have outlined budget proposals of their own.

Obama's budget seeks new taxes and spending cuts that aim to replace the automatic, across-the-board reductions known as sequestration that went into effect on March 1. The Pentagon's share of the March 1 cuts is about $500 billion over 10 years, or about $50 billion a year.

The president's budget proposal unveiled on Wednesday would replace that $500 billion cut under sequestration with a $150 billion reduction, most of it spread over a five-year period beginning several years from now, a U.S. official told Reuters.

Some $34 billion in cuts would be implemented over the next five years, the official said, noting that the proposal would depend on Congress agreeing to eliminate the sequestration budget cuts. The White House and Republicans have been trying for two years to reach a deal on sequestration, without success.

The Pentagon budget asks Congress to begin a new round of Base Realignment and Closure proceedings, a politically unpopular request that was rejected by lawmakers last year and has already produced hearings this year, even before the decision was announced.

Base closures disrupt local economies and cost a huge amount up front, only saving money over the long run. The Pentagon is believed to have more than 20 percent surplus of infrastructure based on estimates from the last round of base closures that started in 2005.

The 2014 budget also renews a request to Congress for increased fees for pharmacy co-pays and health-care enrollment for retired military personnel. The Pentagon also proposed a 1 percent pay increase for military employees, lower than the 1.8 percent increase in the Employment Cost Index ordinarily used to determine pay increases.

Congress has been resistant in the past to increasing healthcare fees for military retirees and has often approved pay increases above those recommended by the department, a factor analysts say has led to military pay rising at an unsustainable pace over the past decade.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Scotland Rejects Independence, Votes to Stay in United Kingdom

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 01:24 AM

Scotland has chosen to stay in the United Kingdom, spurning independence in a historic referendum that had worried allie . . .

Early Results Show Scots Vote Against Independence

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 22:37 PM

Early returns Friday showed Scotland voting against declaring independence from the United Kingdom. . . .

Senate Dems Block Cruz Bill to Strip Citizenship From Terrorists

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 22:26 PM

The Senate has refused to consider Sen. Ted Cruz's bill that would strip Americans of their citizenship for joining the  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved