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Frederico Bartels, policy analyst for defense budgeting at the Heritage Foundation, discusses his organization’s recommendations on what should be included in this year’s NDAA, and how important the topline budget […]

Frederico Bartels, policy analyst for defense budgeting at the Heritage Foundation, discusses his organization’s recommendations on what should be included in this year’s NDAA, and how important the topline budget is to military funding.


All eyes will be on the Trump Administration’s fiscal 2020 budget request when it is delivered to Congress in March. Of interest is what the military’s final topline budget number will be, and what will have to be authorized. The Heritage Foundation has released its recommendations for the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Frederico Bartels, policy analyst for defense budgeting at the Heritage Foundation, says that Heritage reached a different conclusion regarding the topline. “We compiled a budget for the whole federal government, not just DoD. Internally, we looked at how to balance the different priorities within the budget. That’s why we reached the $742 billion topline for defense… and that is different from what has been discussed in public. But the important thing is that inside Heritage we have balanced that within the other domestic priorities and within the federal budget,” Bartels said. “It is interesting to see what the present budget request comes at and how they split that request between base and OCO, because that will determine a lot of where Congress takes the negotiations.”

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