Defense spending negotiations underway on Capitol Hill

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Roger Zakheim, director of the Ronald Reagan Institute and former general counsel of the House Armed Services Committee, discusses the possibility of the Pentagon being completely funded by the budget deadline, and what the passing of Sen. McCain means for the Senate Armed Services Committee.


Congress has already begun work on funding the programs they laid out in the National Defense Authorization Act. If the final details are hammered out soon, this will be the first time in years that the Department of Defense will be fully funded by October 1st. Roger Zakheim, director of the Ronald Reagan Institute and former general counsel of the House Armed Services Committee says that there are a number of reasons for this years fast turnaround on defense funding.

 

“There’s been a lot of pressure put on the Congress and that Congress and put on itself to move beyond continuing resolutions. It’s just gone for so long, this would be the first time in 12 years that we might have a defense appropriations bill to pass before the end of the fiscal year. The fact that people realize that this is a problem is a big contribution,” said Zakheim. “Second, the president’s priorities are out there. People know the problem resides with the Homeland Security bill so that’s not a problem with the rest of the appropriations bill. The third piece, is that we had a budget agreement that really put forward the top line for the FY19 spending. You don’t have a controversy about how much to spend, the issue is where to spend it.”