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.


 
 

 

Headlines November 21, 2014

News: Dempsey lays groundwork for larger 2016 defense budget - The top U.S. military official on Wednesday made the case for growing the base defense budget significantly over the $535 billion spending cap imposed by Congress for fiscal 2015.   Business: Boeing can bill $61 million that Pentagon withheld for months - The Pentagon withheld $60.5 million...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Obama aide: U.S. should look at Ukraine military aid A senior aide of President Barack Obama says he believes the U.S. should consider giving Ukraine lethal, defensive military assistance to get Russia to think twice about its destabilizing behavior. Tony Blinken, the deputy national security adviser, cites serious violations by Russia of agreements not to...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 

 
LM-facility

Lockheed Martin opens Surface Navy Innovation Center

Lockheed Martin has opened the Surface Navy Innovation Center in Moorestown, N.J., to support the development of new technologies for the U.S. Navy. The SNIC is a research, development and demonstration facility that brings tog...
 
 
raytheon-test

Raytheon successfully demonstrates integrated electronic warfare capabilities

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Raytheon, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, successfully demonstrated an end to end, first of its kind, integrated electronic attack system during flight tests at the Naval Air Weapons Station Chi...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 




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>