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Obama asserts his defense budget priorities to Congress

The Commander in Chief is the executive in charge of determining the nation’s priorities. At a time when resources are severely constrained, it is his call about what items in the defense budget get cut. The President and his advisors have targeted weapon systems that are obsolete and have served their purpose. The cost of continued operational support exceeds their value. Where politics enters is when the companies involved in supporting the weapons systems must cut their workforce and operations. Those cuts are realized in the Congressional Districts where the work has been performed.

Commander in Chief of Defense Budget
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

When some congressional representatives say that they want smaller government, they are not talking about their Districts, of course.

“In the Administration's view, the risk to the Nation will grow significantly should Congress not
accept reforms proposed in the FY 2015 Budget. The bill does not include meaningful
compensation reforms and other cost saving measures, rejects many of the Department’s
proposed force structure changes, and restricts DOD’s ability to manage its weapon systems and infrastructure. In aggregate, the Committee’s changes to the President’s proposed defense
program would eliminate more than $50 billion in savings over the next five years and force
DOD to alter its recommended balance among capability, capacity, and readiness in order to
retain unnecessary overhead and force structure. The Committee’s changes increase the risk to
the Department’s ability to implement the President’s defense strategy, contributing to a military
that will be less capable of responding effectively to future challenges. In addition, the bill’s
continuation of unwarranted restrictions regarding detainees held at the detention facility at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, undermines our national security.”

Here is a great summary of the situation from The Hill.

“White House threatens to veto defense bill

By Kristina Wong - 05/19/14 06:12 PM EDT

The Obama administration is threatening to veto the House's defense policy bill.
In a statement released Monday, the Office of Management and Budget criticized House Republicans for rejecting several measures the Pentagon took to reduce defense spending.”

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