Senate Subpanel Approves Freeze on Pentagon Budget

DoD photo: Tom Reynolds

A Senate subcommittee approved $630 billion for defense spending in fiscal year 2012 Tuesday, freezing the Pentagon’s base budget at $513 billion for a second straight year while seeking nearly $118 billion for U.S. wars abroad.

The Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee‘s proposed defense budget is $26 billion less than the amount requested by President Barack Obama and nearly $20 billion less than the amount approved by the House.

The subpanel also approved a $695 million cut to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which has been criticized over cost overruns and delays.

This comes on the same day that Ashton Carter, defense deputy secretary nominee, warned against “devastating cuts” beyond the $350 million cut approved in August.

“Just the scale of it alone would lead us to have to consider truly draconian things — abandoning major weapons systems, furloughing civilian employees and abruptly curtailing training because we couldn’t pay for fuel,” Carter said during his confirmation hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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