If the House Continuing Resolution makes it to President Obama’s desk, the Pentagon will be left $19 billion short of its 2011 budget request.
This appears to be why the House appropriators, not known for their excessive kindness to the Pentagon, granted the military permission — subject to congressional approval — to move money around.
“Even if adequate funds were provided, a Continuing Resolution usually does not provide adequate flexibility to meet operating and wartime needs. In the December 8, 2010, House passed version of the year-long Continuing Resolution (HR.3082), it does appear that the House of Representatives wants to provide some flexibility to the Department to help meet some of those needs,” a Pentagon spokeswoman. She said there was no evidence that Congress included that language because of the loss of flexibility, but the fact that Rep. David Obey highlighted the language in his summary of the bill indicates he thinks it is quite important.
The shortfall means the Pentagon may find it even more tempting to kill funding for the F136, the second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, and the Marine’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. From what congressional watchers are seeing over the last 36 hours, every passing hour seems to make a CR more likely to pass, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell notwithsanding.