Ask Us for More Money to Fill Defense Budget Holes, Senator Says

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said civilian furloughs at the Defense Department have a “direct link” to higher-than-anticipated costs caused by the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said civilian furloughs at the Defense Department have a “direct link” to higher-than-anticipated costs caused by the ongoing war in Afghanistan. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A lawmaker on Tuesday encouraged Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to file a supplemental budget request to fill fiscal 2013 budget holes caused by higher wartime costs and sequestration.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said civilian furloughs at the Defense Department have a “direct link” to higher-than-anticipated costs caused by the ongoing war in Afghanistan. During a Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, she said a third of the shortfalls in Defense’s readiness account, and half in the Army’s readiness account, was not caused by sequestration, but by higher operating tempos.

Collins said budget transfer requests only moved money around between accounts, when the real issue was a serious shortfall in the amount of money Defense has.

“Even if we abolish sequestration today, that does not solve of the problem of your needing—legitimately needing—more money to deal with unanticipated, underestimated war costs,” Collins said. “I would ask you to look at the possibility of submitting a supplemental request.”

Hagel said that he had not discussed or considered a supplemental request and noted that Defense “had not looked at that as a possibility.”

Even if the Pentagon were to file a request, it's far from certain that Congress would approve it. A congressional committee recently rejected part of Defense’s $9.6 billion budget reprogramming request, Defense News reported.

Government Executive asked Collins’ office if she would push for the passage of such a measure in Congress but did not receive a response by publication time. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.