What to Look for in the fiscal year 2020 U.S. Department of Defense budget request
WASHINGTON – The FY 2020 DOD budget request has already had a wild ride, and it has not even been submitted yet. Last February, in its FY 2019 defense budget request, the Trump administration forecasted a total national defense budget (including base Department of Defense (DOD) funding, Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), and nuclear activities of $733 billion for FY 2020. The Center for Strategic and International Studies reports.
The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:
4 Feb. 2019 -- In October, the president cut that projection to $700 billion over concerns about the size of the federal deficit. In December, then-secretary of defense James Mattis objected, joined by then-House Armed Services Committee chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). The president reportedly reversed himself and increased the budget to $750 billion. What should we be looking for when this fluctuating budget is finally presented?
Is the topline FY 2020 DOD budget request actually $750 billion? The president implied that when he visited the Pentagon in mid-January and, in his customary understated way, said, “I’ve given you the biggest budget in our history, and I’ve now done it two times ... and I am about to do it three times.” Nevertheless, after the wild ride of the fall, a $750 topline is not guaranteed. There have been some rumors that the actual number may be closer to $745 billion—still a large increase from the $716 billion in FY 2019.
How is the money distributed? Past experience indicates that a $750 billion budget would consist of approximately $650 billion for the DOD base budget, $70 billion for OCO, and $30 billion for defense-related activities in the Department of Energy (DoE) and other government agencies.
John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics
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