Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published May 29, 2014 at 9:58 AM | Page modified May 29, 2014 at 11:50 AM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

House panel snubs Pentagon on defense spending

The Pentagon faces election-year roadblocks in persuading Congress to back cost-saving defense cuts as the military moves away from robust wartime budgets.


Associated Press

advertising

WASHINGTON —

The Pentagon faces election-year roadblocks in persuading Congress to back cost-saving defense cuts as the military moves away from robust wartime budgets.

The House panel that decides defense spending came out with a $570 billion blueprint Thursday that spares the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, gives military personnel a 1.8 percent pay raise and rebuffs Pentagon efforts to make troops and their families pay slightly more for housing and groceries at on-base commissaries.

The spending bill echoes the broad defense policy bill that the House overwhelmingly passed last week that saves ships and aircraft despite pleas from senior military officers for the reductions. It also reflects lawmakers' reluctance to trim personnel benefits for military personnel and their families amid increasing questions about the health care provided to veterans.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, said the bill provides the Pentagon and intelligence agencies "with the resources needed to maintain and modernize the best equipped and most capable military in the world today and in the future."

Military leaders have warned that sparing what they consider to be parochial programs will undermine their ability to train soldiers, sailors and airmen to fight. But lawmakers are determined to protect favorite weapons.

The Pentagon had sought a more modest 1 percent pay raise and a slight increase in out-of-pocket costs for housing and food, citing skyrocketing costs of personnel benefits.

The bill also bars the transfer to the U.S. of suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. President Barack Obama has tried to close the facility since his inauguration more than five years ago.

The subcommittee was expected to approve the bill Friday. To pay for the changes, the panel cut the operations and maintenance account by $1.4 billion from the Obama administration's request.

The bill covers the core defense budget of $491 billion plus $79.4 billion for conflicts in Afghanistan and elsewhere.



Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year for unlimited seattletimes.com access. Try it now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Looking for joy on the job


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►