Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
House GOP budget spares weapons, military benefits
Spending » The armed services panel will vote Wednesday.
First Published May 05 2014 07:50 pm • Last Updated May 05 2014 08:28 pm

Washington • House Republicans spare aircraft, bases and personnel benefits from defense budget cuts by chipping away at money the Pentagon spends in preparing the military for war.

Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, unveiled the $601 billion measure on Monday that reflects smaller military budgets after more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the clout of congressional deficit hawks determined to cut federal spending.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Forced to make trade-offs within spending limits, the bill would spare the U-2 spy plane, born during the height of the Cold War, by barring any money to the Pentagon to retire the aircraft. Amid the clamor in Congress, the bill also would force the Pentagon to keep the A-10 Warthog in storage rather than retire the plane.

To offset those moves, the bill rejects the Pentagon’s plea for another round of military base closures to shutter unnecessary facilities and cuts some $1.4 billion for training, repairs and other operation and maintenance.

The committee plans to consider McKeon’s blueprint, known as the chairman’s mark, and vote on it Wednesday.

A committee statement faulted President Barack Obama for the cuts even though some congressional Republicans have backed the reductions as part of a bipartisan agreement.

"In developing this proposal, Chairman McKeon, together with members from both parties, worked hard to find savings in less critical areas that do not pose the threat of irrevocable damage to the force or the potential to harm recruiting or retention," the committee said. "Still, at current resource levels, tough choices must be made."

The panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, warned that the rejection of some of the Pentagon proposals would degrade the military’s readiness.

"While it is not our role to accept the defense budget entirely as it is presented, it is also not our role to make significant changes that cause the Department of Defense harm based on parochial interest," Smith said in a statement.

The bill would reject Pentagon plans to slightly increase the out-of-pocket expenses for service members for housing and ask military families and retirees to pay more for health care. The Pentagon also wanted to reduce the $1.4 billion in direct subsidies to military commissaries where military families can buy name-brand groceries and other items at reduced cost.


story continues below
story continues below

The bill would provide $100 million of the $200 million requested for the commissaries in the budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Overall, the legislation would provide $495.8 billion for the core defense budget, $17.9 billion for energy programs within Pentagon spending and $79.4 billion for the war in Afghanistan and other overseas operations.

Responding to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its continued aggression, the bill would prohibit funds for bilateral military-to-military contact or cooperation between the United States and Russia "until the secretary of defense, in consultation with the secretary of state, certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that Russia is respecting the sovereignty of Ukrainian territory, no longer acting inconsistently with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and in compliance with the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.