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Pentagon Eyes $10B Shortfall in Proposed Senate Spending Bill

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The Senate is eying a $1 trillion spending package to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. But the bill would shave about $10 billion off the Pentagon’s bottom line for the current fiscal year, according to a report on DoDBuzz.

The stopgap spending bill passed by the House last week contained nearly $671 billion for defense, but would have trimmed $19 billion from the budget.

Now, DoDBuzz reports, the Senate is “scrambling to put together an omnibus spending package,” by the end of the week.

Notably, the bill would give Defense Department officials what is known as “general transfer authority,” or the ability to shift funding around from bottom-line numbers granted by Congress. That provision is an echo of similar measures passed by the House last week and is generally seen as helping to offset the sting of budget cuts.

A Pentagon spokeswoman told DoDBuzz continuing resolutions often don’t provide enough flexibility for funding war-time expenditures. However, the House’s inclusion of general transfer authority made it “appear that the House of Representatives wants to provide some flexibility to the department to help meet some of those needs,” she added.

The Senate’s proposed Pentagon budget breakdown:

Personnel – $126.4 billion

Operations and maintenance – $165.8 billion

Procurement – $102.7 billion

Research and development – $77.6 billion

Management (and revolving) funds – $2.5 billion

Funding for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – $157.7 billion

Other DoD costs – $34.4 billion

For a complete breakdown on the state of funding and what it means for DoD, check out DoDBuzz’s ongoing coverage of the continuing resolutions.

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