Yesterday at 7:55 PM
and a tough headline
... size limit reached; the article goes on below:After heading off a government shutdown with a “clean” temporary spending bill on
How did we get here? On December 12th, President Trump signed
While several of these worries—particularly the lack of action on
The $634 in base defense spending for fiscal year (FY) 2018 authorized by the bill is $85 billion dollars above the annual Budget Control Act cap spending limit for national defense. What does this mean?
Right now, the law contradicts itself. Even though the National Defense Authorization Act is current law, funding defense at those levels would breach
Nevertheless, Congress’ efforts to boost defense spending above levels requested by President Trump will pay off and lawmakers will get to yes. While there are still many variables at this point, there are a fair amount of knowns. Here’s a roundup of what to expect from the end of the year:
Congress will pass a two-year mini deal to amend the Budget Control Act.
At some point soon, likely in the next month, Congress will pass a two-year plan to raise the Budget Control Act spending caps. In the wake of 2013’s government shutdown, President Obama signed a bill just after Christmas
At the expiration of that deal, Congress
In part, this was due to the plan’s controversial handling of
These changes more or less codified the use and abuse of OCO as an escape valve to fund State and Pentagon base budget needs to alleviate fiscal pressure on other agencies. Actual 2017 OCO was much higher than the deal suggested, netting $82.8 billion for defense and $20.8 billion for the State Department.
All indicators suggest there will be no letup in the OCO accounting gimmicks to stave off calls for deficit reduction in the coming third mini deal to amend the Budget Control Act. Given the impending midterms and the political costs of supporting massive cuts to programs that benefit constituents, it’s simply too easy not to.
Biggest BCA “Fix” Yet
Where the 2013 “Ryan-Murray” deal added $63.4 billion in new spending above previous limits and the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act added $80 billion (discounting its OCO shenanigans), raising just the defense cap for 2018 to accommodate the 2018 NDAA’s topline would cost $85 billion. That doesn’t include any increase to the $515.6 billion
The most commonly cited number in the rumor mill for a new two-year deal is $200 billion in new discretionary spending. Yet owing to the massive defense need, there are only three ways to reach that level of spending: break the parity between defense and nondefense increases, as
The price of any budget deal will be near-parity increases for defense and non-defense discretionary spending.
Equal dollar-for-dollar increases to defense and nondefense spending have been the bedrock of both previous bipartisan budget deals. Republicans are now seeking to use their majorities in both chambers of Congress to secure a disproportionate increase for defense spending.
On December 13th,
As of now, other rumored