Inhofe, Kaine Lead SASC Readiness Subcommittee in Requesting DOD Budget Flexibility

Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) led the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee (SAC-D) today. They urged SAC-D to give the Department of Defense needed flexibility in spending appropriated resources for the remainder of the fiscal year.

“Recent budget caps and numerous continuing resolutions have placed a considerable strain on the Department of Defense,” wrote the Senators. “The recent National Security and Defense Strategies, the FY19 President’s Budget and Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 are significant steps in the right direction to restore readiness, eliminate maintenance backlogs, and modernize equipment for the Department of Defense.” 

Click here to download the letter. Full text is printed below.

Dear Chairman Cochran and Ranking Member Durbin:

Recent budget caps and numerous continuing resolutions have placed a considerable strain on the Department of Defense.  The recent National Security and Defense Strategies, the FY19 President’s Budget and Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 are significant steps in the right direction to restore readiness, eliminate maintenance backlogs, and modernize equipment for the Department of Defense. 

In an effort to ensure that the Department can responsibly allocate and obligate Fiscal Year 2018 funds with only half of the fiscal year remaining, we urge Congress to provide the Department with greater spending flexibility for the remainder of this fiscal year.  As such, we request that the Appropriations Committee consider exempting the Department of Defense from statutory limitations on obligating funds in FY18.  With proper congressional oversight, two different exceptions could help alleviate pressure for the Department.  An exception to policy for the “80/20 Rule” or the 1-year limitation for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) accounts could give much needed flexibility to the Department.

Either of these two exceptions will ensure that service secretaries will have the flexibility to obligate funds in an efficient manner to restore readiness and execute the National Security and Defense Strategy.

            Sincerely,