Wednesday, November 23, 2011

9/24/11 RD Bulletin: Pro-Defense Lawmakers Become Frantic

ed. Ethan R. Rosenkranz

State of Play 

Legislative: Congress is headed toward a potential government shutdown over differences in disaster aid funding levels in the Continuing Resolution.  Although Congress was scheduled to recess next week, the Senate may return on Monday to continue work on the CR.  HASC Republican staff prepared a report for their members outlining the potential impact of cuts to the Defense Department over ten years, warning that: "cuts would destroy jobs and stall the economy... force America to return to the draft, and... incur more casualties."  The Joint Select Committee held a public hearing on Thursday to discuss tax reform, as members of Congress and interest groups continue to submit proposals and recommendations for savings to the Committee. 

Executive: Defense Secretary Panetta and Admiral Mike Mullen testified before the SASC on Thursday warning that further defense cuts would "break" the military.  Separately, however, Mullen stated that the public debt was the largest threat to national security facing the United States.  Inside Defense reports that, following the Administration's direction to implement $460 billion in defense savings over ten years, the services will have until September 16 to submit revised spending plans.  The difference between the Administration's $460 billion figure and widely reported $350 billion figure results from a difference between the White House's long-term budget plan and CBO baseline. 


Defense News: Work Begins on 2014 U.S. Budget
The services are beginning work on the 2014 budget, "with the assumption of a top line funding decrease of... 2-3 percent for each fiscal year' through 2018."  (9/23/11)

Article cites Russel Rumbaugh from the Stimson Center and his observation that almost $10 billion in DoD base funds have been moved to the OCO account.  (9/22/11) 

Earlier this month, OMB Director Lew and DoD Sec. Panetta sent a letter warning of significant risk to national security if additional cuts to defense spending are implemented.  (9/21/11) 

National Interest: The Growing Hysteria About the Fake Pentagon Cuts 
Benjamin Friedman seeks to calm the growing frenzy about defense cuts.  (9/21/11)

Other News and Commentary 
A panel of financial experts testify before a House committee that improved administration, oversight, and regulation of contracts is key to meeting the 2017 deadline for a DoD audit.  (9/23/11)

Outgoing Chairman Mullen says cuts beyond the $450 billion endorsed by the Administration would cause "catastrophic damage to [the] military."  (9/22/11) 

Air force military leaders say defense cuts could "turn a global Air Force into a regional one."  (9/22/11)

Panetta's priorities for strategic reform include: maintaining the most superior military in the world, preventing a "hollowing out" of forces, and implementing a balanced approach to cuts.  (9/22/11)

Seventy members of the House write the Joint Select Committee asking it to save $1.8 trillion over CBO baseline by ending the wars.  For a copy of the letter, click here(9/22/11)

Admiral Mullen says that the military compensation system is unsustainable and needs to be reexamined, including retirement pay, housing costs, health care, and retirement benefits.   (9/22/11)

Pro-defense lawmakers and contractors believe budget cuts will hamper the ability of DoD to invest in R&D and new technologies.  (9/22/11)

Sen. McCain criticizes appropriators for shifting $10 billion in DoD spending into the OCO account.  (9/21/11)

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) rebuts the claim put forth by HASC Chairman McKeon that defense cuts would require a re-institution of the draft.   (9/21/11)


Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and Taxpayers for Common Sense: Spending Less, Spending Smarter: Recommendations for National Security Savings FY2012 to FY 2021
Report outlines more than $586 billion in potential defense savings over the next decade.  (7/21/11)