With hope of a normal legislative process almost gone, lawmakers are dusting off a nearly decade-old congressional playbook in the hopes of finding a way to get the annual defense authorization bill to the president’s desk before the end of December.
The short-term budget deal approved by Congress, known as a continuing resolution, is freezing billions of dollars in planned acquisition programs across the Defense Department and will delay Army modernization efforts.
As budget experts caution the Army will see reduced or — at best — flat budgets in the coming years, service officials are readying for a more difficult look at how to cut costs to preserve modernization momentum. This could mean making harder decisions about the future of its inventory or making cuts to reduce readiness or end strength.
A proposal to send Israel $1 billion for the Iron Dome air defense system has been cut out of a stopgap government funding bill, meant to avoid a government shutdown after Sept. 30, in order to ease its passage in the House.
Senate Democrats on Monday unveiled a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint, focused on expanding America’s social safety net, that proposes keeping defense budgets flat through 2031, when adjusted for inflation.