Senior Advisor Steve Bell and Director of the National Security Program Blaise Misztal wrote to Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) of the Committee on Appropriations to support spending flexibility for the Department of Defense.
Dear Senator Cochran and Senator Durbin,
As you continue your work on FY2019 appropriations for the Department of Defense (DoD), we are reaching out to you to highlight the importance of spending flexibility to military readiness.
The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Task Force on Defense Personnel, co-chaired by Gen. Jim Jones, Sec. Leon Panetta, Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO), and Blue Star Families’ CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet, was founded to address the strategic and personnel challenges currently facing the Department of Defense. The Task Force has been working to raise awareness of these challenges and has made concrete recommendations for meaningful reforms to both the Administration and Congress.
The Department of Defense must have spending flexibility that allows for necessary equipment upgrades and addresses the mismatch between the military’s personnel and its equipment.
As you know, recent budget caps and numerous continuing resolutions have placed a significant strain on DoD. The men and women who volunteer to serve are the foundation of our military advantage. To preserve that advantage, the DoD must have spending flexibility that allows for necessary equipment upgrades and addresses the mismatch between the military’s personnel and its equipment.
Specifically, we encourage you to consider exempting DoD from the “80/20” rule for FY2018 appropriations, and also, to allow the department to spend additional dollars appropriated for FY2018 in FY2019, since there are only five months remaining in this fiscal year. Further, as you craft your FY2019 bill, we implore you to pursue a strategy-based budget for the Department of Defense, as our Task Force on Defense Personnel recommended.
We look forward to continuing to work with you on this important issue and thank you again for your leadership.
Senior Advisor, BPC
Director, National Security Program, BPC