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$78B Shortfall in DoD’s Five-Year Budget?

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The Office of Management and Budget is directing the Defense Department to trim $78 billion from its budget over the next five years, according to a report on Defense News.

The first cut will be $12 billion stripped from DoD’s 2012 budget.

Beyond that, it’s not entirely certain how the budget trimming will be broken down in the remaining years, Defense News reported last week, but already Pentagon officials were “scrambling” to come up with the reduced budget numbers.

Defense News reported that Pentagon funding for 2012 was first set, by the now-defunct omnibus spending bill, at $667.7 billion — $10 billion less than the Pentagon had asked for. However, the omnibus failed to garner enough votes for passage.

According to sources, though, OMB wanted to shave even more money from DoD’s 2012 budget – to the tune of an additional $10 billion. However, after opposition from the Pentagon, the amount was set at $12 billion less than what DoD had originally predicted.

It appears likely the $12 billion budget shortfall is almost set in stone. Dec. 23 was the last day for agencies to appeal funding decisions, and Defense News reported Pentagon sources thought it unlikely the department would appeal, although spokesman Geoff Morrell declined to comment.

The current spending measure, which was finally passed by Congress, is a continuing resolution funding the government through early March 2011. Some experts predict DoD will not actually submit an official funding request until then, Defense News reported.

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