Congress Passes Budget Resolution

May 8, 2015

For the first time in six years, Congress passed a budget resolution. The Senate voted 51-48 along party lines to adopt the budget plan. The House passed its version of the budget submission in late March.

Only two senators broke ranks from their party: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Kent.).

The budget submission increases defense spending above the sequester limits. To avoid triggering the automatic cuts, however, the proposal shifts money to the Pentagon’s war accounts, which are not subject to sequester caps.

The non-binding resolution does not need to go to the White House for signature. It serves more as a blueprint for congressional leaders. The ten-year plan seeks to balance the budget by aggressively cutting government spending and dismantling the president’s signature health care reform.       

While MOAA is pleased that the proposed budget provides defense planners some relief from sequestration, we remain concerned about using contingency accounts for normal DoD functions.

DoD agrees. In late March, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said that these kinds of budget gimmicks are “undermining basic principles of accountability and responsible, long-term planning.”

It’s unlikely that some of the central pillars of the budget resolution are politically feasible. “What we want to see is Congress come to a common sense solution to provide permanent sequestration relief,” said MOAA’s Director of Government Relations, Col. Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret). “If sequestration remains in place, the services will be on the hook for cutting a quarter trillion dollars in just five years.”

Although debt reduction is a national priority, military personnel and their families should not have to shoulder a disproportional share of the rebalancing. They have sacrificed more than any other segment of the American population.

Act now to send your legislators a MOAA-suggested message asking them to eliminate sequestration.