Defense Daily: Hill To Weigh War Supplemental Next Month

Hill To Weigh War Supplemental Next Month
Defense Daily, March 2, 2010, Volume 245, No. 39, pg. 2
By Emelie Rutherford (subscription required)

Congress is expected to start considering in mid-April President Barack Obama’s $33 billion request for supplemental war funding for the current fiscal year, which is expected to be approved without any major skirmishes.

Though Obama pledged to end the Bush administration practice of funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through such emergency appropriations bills, he has requested the $33 billion FY ’10 supplemental to fund a buildup of troops in Afghanistan.

The House Appropriations Committee (HAC) is expected to kick off consideration of the measure with a markup session on or around April 15. That date falls on the week after a two-week congressional recess set to begin on March 27. Until then, the congressional defense committees will continue to be enmeshed in hearings on the Pentagon’s request for a $548.9 billion base budget and $159.3 billion in war funding for FY ’11, which begins Oct. 1.

Senate appropriators are also expected to take up the FY ’10 supplemental soon after the congressional recess.

The $33 billion war-funding proposal is dominated by operations costs and does not include much procurement. Yet it notably seeks $1.1 billion for buying additional Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAP) for Afghanistan; that money combined with $3.4 billion in the Pentagon’s war-funding request for FY ’11 is intended to meet the Pentagon’s requirement for 28,882 trucks in the MRAP family of vehicles, which includes the newer MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV).