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Marine Corps to submit unfunded priorities list to Congress

Marine Corps to submit unfunded priorities list to Congress

Officials at Headquarters Marine Corps are drafting an unfunded “wish list” of equipment and programs to submit to Congress, a Marine spokesman confirmed Thursday.

An unfunded priorities list is currently being developed, said Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Tyler Balzer in response to a Marine Corps Times inquiry. The news comes after reports that the Navy and the Army are planning to submit their own versions of the traditional wish lists.

Last year’s unfunded priorities list from the Corps totaled $2.5 billion, or an increase of more than 10 percent over the year’s $22.8 billion baseline budget request. It included more than $1 billion each in spending on the Corps’ new F-35B Joint Strike Fighters and AV-8B Harriers to replace those destroyed in a 2012 attack on Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.

It also requested additional funding to assist the Marines in standing up new regional task forces in Central America and the Middle East.

Balzer did not say what might be on this year’s list or when it could be expected to be submitted to Congress.

All the armed services submitted an unfunded priorities list last year after a hiatus instituted by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2009. The lists give Congress options if they opt to fund projects or equipment above the president’s base budget request. However, with another round of long-term sequestration cuts threatening even those funding levels, it’s not clear whether anything on the yet-to-be submitted wish lists will get funded.

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