Pentagon shifts $1.6 billion for Columbia-class supplemental fund

By Justin Katz / October 15, 2019 at 11:11 AM

The Pentagon comptroller this month approved shifting $1.6 billion to a special account that funds the Columbia-class submarine, according to a recent reprogramming document.

The document, dated Oct. 10 and signed by acting Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker, moves the money from the Navy's shipbuilding and conversion account to the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund.

NSBDF is a supplemental account created specifically to fund the Columbia-class submarine program.

The funds will come from the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020," referring to the continuing resolution passed by Congress last month to avoid a government shutdown.

A continuing resolution sets spending at the previous fiscal year's level and bars the Pentagon from spending on new programs or increasing weapon system production. The current CR expires Nov. 21.

The only explanation given for the transfer refers to a statute that says, "There shall be deposited in the [NSBDF] all funds appropriated to the Department of Defense for construction (including design of vessels), purchase, alteration, and conversion of national sea-based deterrence vessels."

A Navy spokesman was not immediately able to comment on the reprogramming request.