Defense Appropriations the Next Hurdle

Having pushed through Fiscal 2014 defense authorization legislation and a broader two-year budget deal prior to the Christmas break, congressional lawmakers now face the challenge of coming up with spending legislation to fund the Pentagon for the remainder of the fiscal year. H.R. 2775, the continuing resolution that currently appropriates funds for the federal government, expires on Jan. 15. House and Senate appropriators worked through the holidays to draft a $1 trillion-plus omnibus spending bill that would include the dollars for defense, reported Politico on Dec. 31. One issue for the lawmakers to harmonize in the spending bill is the Pentagon funding level. The defense authorization bill allocated $526.8 billion for base defense programs while the budget agreement set the level of defense discretionary spending in Fiscal 2014 at $520.5 billion. President Obama signed both the defense authorization legislation and the two-year budget bill into law on Dec. 26. (Obama’s statement on signing the defense authorization bill)