- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Debt deal pits Pentagon against other security agencies
Question of the Day
Congress structured the first round of budget cuts — almost $1 trillion worth over 10 tears — by dividing them into security and nonsecurity spending.
In fiscal 2012, which starts in October, security spending would be capped at about $684 billion, roughly $5 billion less than current year spending.
The State Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Homeland Security are included alongside the Pentagon budget in that total. Some analysts predict the State Department and Homeland Security will be gouged to protect Pentagon spending.
He said the deal is “designed to protect defense spending, including pork-barrel projects.” Lawmakers backing the Defense Department “hope they can dump the pain on [the] other agencies,” he said.
“The VA is politically protected” because the agency provides services to American veterans, Mr. Friedman added.
Congressional officials told The Washington Times that the State Department and Homeland Security would likely be hit the hardest next year because of spending increases already built into their budgets.
At Homeland Security, those cuts could include funding for 1,000 extra Border Patrol agents hired in the last year, pay increases for the Coast Guard, and Secret Service expenses for the protection of presidential candidates in next year’s campaign.
VA medical care costs also are expected to rise by $2 billion, putting more pressure on the nondefense agencies portion of the security budget.
“Belts will be tightened all around, and Homeland Security will take some hits,” said a former senior Homeland Security official. “Only time will tell if these cuts are well-considered or, in effect, throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
The deal, which the president signed into law Tuesday, calls for cuts of $917 billion in spending over the next 10 years and establishes a special congressional committee to find another $1.5 trillion in savings.
The committee must report by late November, and Congress must act on its proposals by Christmas. If the committee fails to adopt cuts or Congress rejects its recommendations, automatic cuts totaling $1.2 trillion would be triggered instead. Those cuts would be split equally between security and nonsecurity spending.
“How deep security cuts will be and how vicious the attendant zero-sum games wind up being will be a function of what the ‘Supercommittee’ is able to come up with and whether the ‘triggers’ are pulled,” said the former Homeland Security official.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
- House backs faster deportations, cancels 'Dreamer' policy
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors