Congress Keeps Adding Billions to Pentagon Budget

As the clock ticks ever closer to the triggering of the sequestration time bomb — you know, the massive cuts to government spending that are set to take effect next January unless Congress moves to eliminate them — lawmakers are still forcing more cash on the Pentagon than it says it needs during this time of belt-tightening.

Yup, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) is set to add nearly $3 billion to the Pentagon’s weapons buying accounts in its version — called a markup — of the fiscal year 2013 defense authorization bill that’s set to be unveiled tomorrow. And yes, the HASC’s bill along with a similar effort by the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, is meant to bar the Air Force from retiring its fleet of C-27J Spartan airlifters. The appropriators also moved to keep the service flying its Block 30 Global Hawk spy drones that Air Force brass want to retire in favor of keeping U-2 spylanes.

From Defense News:

Overall, the committee’s bill provides $554 billion in defense spending with another $88 billion for overseas contingency funds.

That’s $29 billion over the Pentagon’s request for $525.4 billion in base defense spending, but on par with the contingency request.

Here are the changes from the Pentagon’s budget request that House lawmakers inserted into the bill:

AIR FORCE

• Aircraft procurement rose $389 million, largely on the strength of plus-ups to the RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-9 Reaper UAV programs and $138 million to keep its C-27Js. Advance procurement funds deemed excessive for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter were cut by $64 million, along with another $23 million in “premature” spares for the aircraft, which has not yet entered service.

• Ammunition spending rose $163 million due to increases in Joint Direct Attack Munitions, general bombs, rockets and fuses.

• Missile procurement rose $95 million from increases to the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile and Predator Hellfire missile.

ARMY

• Missile procurement jumped $100 million, split between increases for the Hellfire and Patriot PAC-3 missiles.

• Weapons and combat vehicle procurement jumped $383 million, due chiefly to increases in Abrams tank upgrades, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle program and the M88A2 Hercules improved recovery vehicle.

• Ammunition procurement was reduced by $108 million, primarily because of cuts to 5.56 mm and 30mm ammunition and Excalibur 155 mm rounds.

• Funds under “other procurement” dropped $80 million, spread over several programs.

NAVY

• Shipbuilding and conversion funds rose nearly $900 million, primarily for advance procurement of an additional submarine and destroyer to the 2014 shipbuilding program.

• Aircraft procurement rose overall about $100 million, and included an additional $170 million to restore five previously-cut MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.

• Weapons procurement rose $113 million, spread over a number of programs.

• Total Marine Corps procurement funding dropped by $140 million due to a decrease requested by the Corps for the light armored vehicle product improvement program.

Across the Defense Department, the HASC recommends a rise of $2.141 billion in procurement spending, from $97.432 billion to $99.573 billion.

Procurement spending for overseas operations rose by $620 million, from $9.687 billion to $10.308 billion.

  • DGR

    I almost think this was a tactic by the Air Force. Cut as many politically hot programs citing money, therby forcing congress to cut them or reinstate the budget. Heck, looks like it worked if that was they tried to do.

  • passingby

    LOL! further proof of the american “Government” turning against itself! No wonder they can never win a war!

  • EJ257

    Next time Congress demand the DoD to cut spending the Pentagon could just say we tried, you wouldn’t let us.

  • Pat

    Question: In this situation is the USCG considered Law Enforcement, or are they just not in the picture?

  • Joe

    The military needs the C-27 much more than it needs a new manned bomber. Odds are the manned bomber would be used on two occasions over the next 40 years. The C-27 would be in constant use.

    The Air Force…where square airplanes are bought for round wars.

  • Rohan

    AIR FORCE
    • Aircraft procurement rose $389 million, largely on the strength of plus-ups to the RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-9 Reaper UAV programs and $138 million to keep its C-27Js. Advance procurement funds deemed excessive for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter were cut by $64 million, along with another $23 million in “premature” spares for the aircraft, which has not yet entered service.
    • Ammunition spending rose $163 million due to increases in Joint Direct Attack Munitions, general bombs, rockets and fuses.
    • Missile procurement rose $95 million from increases to the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile and Predator Hellfire missile.

  • blight_

    When is procurement never a good thing for your future employer’s bottom line?

  • jamesb

    exnuke you wanna bet the air force NEVER takes hold of the C-27J’s?

    The Congress…..
    Instead of sending the C-27J back to the Army for their driver’s like the original plan was will probably ship the slow movers off to Iraq or Afgahnaistan……

    And the Army…..
    Who could use the light transports to take the load off of C-47’s is gonna get juked again ….

  • jamesb

    ok…
    Update…
    This is EVEN BETTER!
    It seems the Air Force ALREADY HAS C-27J’s!
    The piece above makes it seems like the Congress is FORCING the Air Force to hold on to what they have and add more?
    Yo….
    If they don’t want the a/c….
    Send them to where they where supposed to be!
    The Army……

  • Sgt_Buffy

    Quote ” lawmakers are still forcing more cash on the Pentagon than it says it needs”

    What is so hard about listening to the Pentagon? It seems, seems just stupid to tell the Pentagon what the Pentagon needs, when they are the ones running the war.

  • Lance

    This House bill is DOA in the Senate and the W.H. will VETO it. SO this is more politics to make the pork spenders in the industry happy and give money to reelection campaigns. Overall sequestration will happen there is NO way those idiots in both chambers of congress will agree. One wont let there pork spending end for weapon the military doesn’t want. The other wants to gut DoD, its a lose lose for men in uniform.

  • bobbymike

    I say new ICBM’s and nukes they are the cheapest form of deterrence, that is if you are willing to use them :)

  • d. kellogg

    It’s been argued that older C-130s still flyable in Air Guard units negate any need for new C-27Js.
    It would make for an interesting cost analysis,
    to compare the remaining life of those C-130s (what’s it cost to SLEP one, anyway?),
    look at just what exact payloads the Air Guard predominantly moves with them,
    and compare those figures to the C-27J on a plane-for-plane basis.

    Two more engines per airframe will obviously burn more fuel, and if the aged Air Guard C-130s aren’t routinely flying payloads nearing or exceeding the C-27J’s ~25,000 pounds, then what’s the cost savings in holding onto the older C-130s?
    Aren’t most such tactical in-theater airlift flights actually moving palletized loads and personnel?
    Are the C-130s even flying missions that routinely
    maximize their payload-per-flight capabilities?
    Or is there a specific cargo the C-130 often carries that C-27J’s just can’t?

  • robert abbott

    Somewhere in the mix is the potential for “cost overruns”. I’m paying taxes but what am I buying?

  • ken adams

    i work with c-27s in meridian ms, they’ve already delivered 4 of them to the base! it would be pretty pointless to cut them now.

  • CharlieP

    Congress can’t even cut the USPS. Why would they cut DoD?

  • anon.de.harold

    when you sacrafice freedom for security you diserve niether