It appears that at least for now, Congress will put off a decision on a White House request to boost defense and homeland security funding by some $33 billion for the current fiscal year, to be partly offset by $18 billion in spending cuts from other agencies. Such cuts likely would threaten furloughs of employees, since they would occur more than halfway through the current fiscal year.
However, that issue could arise later even if put off temporarily as Congress deals with the April 28 expiration of a temporary funding measure covering most agencies.
Continuing funding at current levels traditionally has been the most common outcome in such situations. DoD has said, though, that without the supplemental funding it would have to reduce training, repairs, maintenance, deployments and reassignments of military personnel. That is creating pressure to address the funding supplemental issue soon.
Meanwhile, the White House is due to release a full budget proposal for the new fiscal year in early May. A preliminary version already has triggered fights over potential spending cuts in agencies other than DoD, DHS and the VA, fights that likely will grow more intense as more detailed plans for those cuts are revealed.
The preliminary budget called for shifting $54 billion from other agencies to fund increases at those three, mostly to the DoD, which could translate into job cuts at those other agencies in the fiscal year beginning in October. It also proposed eliminating two dozen relatively small agencies or subagencies, and shuttering numerous other programs.