Congress OKs large Pentagon budget transfers

By Tony Bertuca / October 13, 2020 at 11:18 AM

Congressional defense committees have approved two Defense Department requests to reprogram billions of dollars, according to new documents posted by the Pentagon comptroller's office.

In June, the Pentagon sent an "omnibus" reprogramming request to the four congressional defense committees requesting permission to shift $2 billion across a range of accounts. The committees have agreed to authorize $1.3 billion of the request.

The Pentagon followed up its omnibus with a more recent request to reprogram an additional $1.7 billion, partly tapping savings realized because of cancellations and closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second request also includes replacement or supplemental funding sources for some items in the previously submitted omnibus. The committees have agreed to authorize $1.4 billion in transfers in the second request.

The Pentagon submits budgetary reprogramming requests to the House and Senate armed services and appropriations committees. A single denial or deferral from any one of the four congressional defense committees can halt an entire request.

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