Defense

July 13, 2012

Press secretary objects to Congressional Budget Office forecasts

Tags:
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little and Navy Capt. John Kirby, Pentagon spokesman, brief the press on defense-related topics at the Pentagon, July 12, 2012.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis suggesting the Pentagon budget will be $123 billion higher than expected over the next five years dismisses many of the proposals the department has made to control costs, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters July 12.

The department has committed to reducing the budget by $487 billion over the next 10 years. The CBO report makes clear that if Congress blocks proposals to achieve cost savings in the 2013 budget – particularly efforts to address skyrocketing personnel costs – the Pentagon will risk violating the strict spending caps that Congress imposed on the department in the Budget Control Act, Little said.

CBO officials applied their own forecast to many of the DOD proposals, according to Little.

As an example, he said, CBO officials assumed Congress would deny the department’s request to raise TRICARE fees for certain retirees. The fee increase would mean an additional $13 billion in savings over the next five years.

The budget office also believes Congress will authorize higher military pay raises than DOD currently proposes, Little said.

CBO also assumes DOD will not meet the aggressive targets it has set to control growth in weapons acquisitions costs. The office assumes future acquisitions programs will perform as in the past. “Their analysis makes clear that we can’t let that happen, and that we instead have to improve the performance of our acquisitions programs,” Little said. “That’s precisely what we’re doing.”

All of the proposals DOD made “were designed to help us meet the spending caps of the Budget Control Act while preserving our ability to invest in maintaining a ready and well-equipped force that remains the strongest on the planet,” Little said.

The department has made the tough decisions and based those decisions on sound strategic grounds. “The CBO report underscores the point the secretary has been making: To responsibly square fiscal discipline with national security, you have to make tough decisions informed by a strategy, as we’ve done,” he said.

If Congress does not approve the DOD proposals – or changes other proposals — the department must look to other options for the savings required by the Budget Control Act. “That means cuts to training, weapons modernization and other programs that are essential to avoiding a hollow force,” he said.

Little welcomed the CBO report and the discussion it has provoked. “CBO’s report makes it clear why we need to continue to press ahead on all fronts with our efforts to achieve cost savings,” he said. “And we need the close partnership of Congress to do so.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>