White House Seeks Additional OCO Funds

The White House has asked Congress for an additional $5.6 billion in oversees contingency operations funds, of which $5 billion will go to the Defense Department and the rest will go to the State Department, to cover the mounting costs of the anti-ISIS campaign. That brings the Defense Department’s total Fiscal 2015 OCO request to $63.6 billion. Of the $5 billion, $3.4 billion would support military actions under Operation Inherent Resolve, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told members of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Another $1.6 billion would go to the “new Iraqi train-and-equip fund, devoted to helping reconstitute Iraq’s security forces,” said Hagel. “This fund will be critical for enabling Iraqi security forces, including Kurdish and tribal forces, to go on the offense in 2015. And, it will require the Iraqi government and coalition members to make significant contributions as well.” About $1 billion of that fund will “be available initially” while the remaining $600 million “would not be released until the government of Iraq and coalition partners have provided at least $600 million of their own contributions, because the Iraqi government must invest in its own security and its own future,” said Hagel.