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Reports: Pentagon Lays Down Strategy to Undermine Paul Ryan’s Defense Spending Plan

Capitol_BuildingThe Defense Department plans to hinder the fiscal year 2017 defense spending plan proposed by House Majority Leader Paul Ryan through a set of strategies outlined in an internal strategy memo, Defense News reported Tuesday.

Joe Gould writes the May 13 memo uncovered Pentagon’s plan to tap lawmakers to vote against Ryan’s defense spending proposal and the department’s attempt to influence legislators in their decision whether to add $18 billion in wartime Overseas Contingency Operations funding to the bill.

DoD Comptroller Mike McCord and Assistant Defense Secretary for Legislative Affairs Stephen Hedger prepared the five-page memo for Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Deputy Secretary Bob Work, according to the report.

The memo suggests an assault against Ryan’s defense spending plan through a presidential veto threat that Pentagon seeks to boost with support from top Democratic leaders, Politico reported Tuesday.

Defense News reports the memo also recommends an informational campaign through fact sheets, opinion pieces and meetings with lawmakers and think tanks, and meetings with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Senate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain (R-Arizona) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi).

The goal is to raise the argument that the proposal of Ryan, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, would impair the nation’s defenses, Austin Wright and Jeremy Herb report.

Politico reports the White House opposes Ryan’s plan to increase the Pentagon’s budget without raising domestic funding.

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