U.S. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (File photo / Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Department soon will send lawmakers a request to ease the blow of a $41 billion budget cut by shifting funds between accounts, the chairman of a key House panel said.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., told Defense News on Wednesday that senior DoD officials have told him to expect the “reprogramming request” this month.
“They’ve told me they’re going to be sending up a big reprogramming [request] very soon,” McKeon said during a brief interview.
McKeon said he did not know just how much in 2013 funds Pentagon officials might seek to move from account to account.
The Pentagon regained the ability to shift large amounts of funds last month when President Barack Obama signed a 2013 continuing resolution that contained a full defense appropriations bill.
Pentagon officials and lawmakers lobbied hard for the full spending bill because it would allow them to use the congressional reprogramming process. They say such funding transfers will allow them to partially offset the $41 billion 2013 sequestration cut between now and the end of September.
The congressional defense committees must approve reprogramming requests before DoD officials can execute funding transfers.
To that end, McKeon said: “I’ve told them we’ll do what we can to get that approved quickly.”