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Senate Should Consider Freezing the defense budget February 23, 2010

Posted by Rebecca Williams in News.
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Today, Dr. Gordon Adams is urging the Congress to include the defense budget in the discretionary spending freeze the administration proposed in its FY 2011 budget request delivered February 1, 2010.  Doing so would save the American taxpayer significant resources, since more than half of America’s discretionary spending is in the defense budget, which the administration exempted from its freeze proposal.

In testimony to be delivered to the Committee this morning, Dr. Adams, the senior White House official for national security budgets in the Clinton administration, states that “the defense budget should not be exempt from a freeze,”  and urges the Congress to work with the administration to “make the difficult but necessary budgetary trade-offs.”

Dr. Adams proposes that Congress consider several areas of potential savings to meet a freeze target.  Congress should more closely scrutinize the budget requests for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which may include long-term procurement items not intended for the wars.  “Particular attention should be paid to the Army’s Brigade Combat Team – Modernization” vehicle program. “The new budget request contains $3.2 billion for this program.  This is virtually the same level of funding as was provided in previous years as part of the Future Combat Systems program, which was very similar in purpose and was terminated by Congress last year.”

Dr. Adams urges a defense budget freeze in part because the defense budget proposal was not well disciplined in the administration.  “The new Quadrennial Defense Review,” he stated, “opens the door to unlimited mission expansion and budget growth.  It did not set priorities or make major tradeoffs in the DOD budget request.”

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