Unpacking the $750B FY20 defense budget

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Roger Zakheim, director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation & Institute, discusses potential implications from the FY20 defense budget proposal, and what Congress’ take might be.


The FY20 National Security budget request is looking to be one of the biggest ever, with around $750 billion requested for both base and oversea contingencies funding. Many of the programs featured in this request are attempts to backpay new programs on the DoD ledger, such as a border wall. Congressional criticisms of the budget are already focusing on the increase in OCO funding. Roger Zakheim, director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation & Institute, says that the potential efforts to reallocate OCO spending might not work out.

 

“I don’t think the Pentagon is going to be able to reprogram their way out of this problem between OCO and base. Doing the reprogramming means you need eight signatures from Republicans and Democrats from a lot of committees,” Zakheim said. “That’s hard to do, and it’s not where I would tie the strategy to.”