House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., plans to fight for a defense budget in line with the House Republican plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. That plan calls for defense spending higher than President Barack Obama’s budget and the ceiling that was part of last year’s debt-limit deal. Committee aides confirmed McKeon’s strategy to The Hill
Last year’s Budget Control Act set the spending limit. That cap led the Defense Department to plan budget cuts of $487 billion over the next decade, reductions that were part of the president’s budget this year.
But Ryan’s plan, passed by the House earlier this year, erases some of those cuts. It would increase defense spending during the next 10 years while cutting other discretionary spending.
In a speech last month, McKeon said he would work to repeal the $487 billion in cuts. The Pentagon has said it can handle the $487 billion reduction, but not another $500 billion scheduled to come through automatic sequestration in January 2013.
The House Armed Services Committee will use Ryan’s $554.2 billion proposal for defense spending this year, A McKeon aide told The Hill Thursday. That would exceed Obama’s request for $550.6 billion and the $546 billion cap in the Budget Control Act.
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