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Senators Seek FY 2018 Spending Flexibility for DoD

Seven bipartisan senators have asked the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subpanel to provide the Defense Department with spending flexibility for the remaining months of fiscal year 2018 amid the funding constraints posed by continuing resolutions and budget caps.

The lawmakers said in a Monday letter to Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), chairman of the Senate defense subpanel, and Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), the Senate subcommittee’s ranking member, that DoD should be exempted from “statutory limitations” on FY 2018 obligated funds.

“An exception to policy for the ‘80/20 Rule’ or the 1-year limitation for operation and maintenance accounts could give much needed flexibility to the department,” the senators wrote.

The implementation of either of the two exceptions would provide secretaries of the service branches flexibility to earmark funds to implement the National Defense and Security Strategies and reinstate military readiness.

Sens. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) co-wrote the letter with Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), David Perdue (R-Georgia), Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) and Michael Rounds (R-South Dakota).

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