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Rep. Adam Smith: Congress Should Offset Defense Budget Increase With Program Cuts

Adam Smith
Adam Smith

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Washington) has called on Congress to approve a defense policy bill that would increase the Pentagon’s base budget without underfunding the overseas war fund, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.

Jacqueline Klimas writes House and Senate lawmakers aim to finalize the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act by Oct. 1 but some analysts believe a funding discrepancy between NDAA drafts from both sides of the aisle and the upcoming presidential election could delay the bill’s passage until later in 2016.

The House proposed to shift $18 billion from the Defense Department‘s overseas contingency operations account to priority military programs.

Meanwhile, the Senate’s version of the NDAA would add $15 billion to DoD’s base budget and offset the spending increase with a series of discretionary program cuts.

Sydney Freedberg Jr. of Breaking Defense reported that Smith recommended cuts to endstrength and nuclear modernization initiatives at DoD to offset higher defense spending.

“It would have been nice if the agreement we reached nine months ago we could’ve just stuck to,” he was quoted as saying by Breaking Defense.

“Honestly I think the most promising one is the Senate Appropriations Committee.”

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