WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Wednesday unveiled a 2016 budget blueprint that contains a defense plan in stark contrast with a proposal crafted by their House counterparts.
The GOP-run Senate Budget Committee’s spending resolution would keep the military’s base funding at existing budget caps. That means congressional defense authorizers and appropriators would have $499 billion to work with.
The Senate panel also is proposing $58 billion for the overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund, a controversial war-funding account many in Washington consider something of a “slush fund.”
“We hope the committees will pursue a legislative agenda consistent with this budget resolution,” a Republican Budget Committee aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters Wednesday.
But just what the final budget resolution might look like — and if there even will be a final version that passes both chambers — is in doubt.
That’s because the resolutions crafted by Senate Budget panel Chairman Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., have significant differences.
That’s especially true on the plans’ national defense sections.
On Tuesday, Price proudly held up a copy of his plan that, among other things, would give defense authorizers and appropriators around $590 billion after sequestration is factored in when they craft their annual Pentagon bills.
Price would also adhere to the spending caps, while proposing to give the Pentagon an OCO fund above $90 billion by adding $40 billion to the Obama administration’s $50.9 billion war funding request.
Read More:Senate GOP Budget Sticks to Spending Caps.