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DoD seeks flexibility if appropriation fails

Feb. 27, 2013 - 05:10PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 27, 2013 - 05:10PM  |  
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The Defense Department would seek approval to shift money around within its accounts, launch new projects and increase production rates of procurement programs if Congress does not pass a 2013 defense appropriation bill.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has compiled a so-called "anomalies list" from federal departments, including DoD, that includes items it would like to see addressed by lawmakers should Congress pass a year-long continuing resolution (CR).

The DoD items include a number of funding issues that are the result of lawmakers not passing a 2013 defense appropriations bill and instead funding the Pentagon through a CR, which restricts spending at 2012 levels.

DoD, like the rest of the federal government, has been operating under a CR since October. For the Pentagon, the CR is about $11 billion less than its $525 billion 2013 budget request. The CR expires on March 27.

"Clearly, we are very hopeful that there would be some adjustments made if another CR is passed," a defense official said.

The official said DoD's items on OMB's list extend beyond issues that can be addressed in a standard reprogramming funding transfer request.

Specifically, DoD has asked Congress for the following:

DoD wants the authority to spend more than 20 percent of its 2013 budget within the last two months of the fiscal year. This is because the Pentagon has slowed obligations in recent months due to budget uncertainty.

The Navy needs $305 million to cover "prior year shipbuilding cost increases." This would include funding for the LHA Replacement, LPD-17 Amphibious Transport Dock and CVN Refueling Overhauls programs.

DoD would like language that would increase its general transfer authority to $4.5 billion.

DoD wants language that would authorize multiyear procurements for Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters, the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke destroyer and Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey programs.

DoD wants the authority for new program starts and increased production rates, as already approved in the 2013 Defense Authorization Act.

The Navy would like language removed that restricts shipbuilding and conversion.

Beyond the continuing resolution issues, DoD is also facing a $46 billion cut to its 2013 budget through sequestration, which is set to be triggered on Friday.

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