Rep. Adam Smith (D-Washington), House Armed Services Committee ranking member, has said the top-line budget for the fiscal year 2017 defense policy bill would be the “contentious issue” as the Senate and House reconcile their versions of the bill.
Smith told Defense News reporter Joe Gould in an interview published Thursday that both chambers of Congress would debate on a House-approved measure that aims to move $18 billion from overseas contingency operations funds to base budget.
“The second biggest thing is the end-strength number,” he said.
“Prohibitions that reduce the size of the Army and the Marine Corps are things that could lead to a presidential veto, and if the budget caps come back, you have to be prepared for it [with a gradual drawdown].”
Smith also shared his views on base realignment and closures, the Long Range Stand Off Weapon program, the possibility of a temporary continuing resolution and the potential implications of U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union for NATO and U.S. national security.