The Budget Fine Print

The Air Force—and Defense Department overall—will still need a fresh appropriations bill if the two-year budget deal negotiated by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) becomes law. The Senate is expected to take up the budget plan this week, following the House, which approved the legislation last week. The plan offers the Pentagon some relief from budget sequestration, but doesn’t obviate the need for a spending bill to address the remainder of Fiscal 2014. The Senate is also slated to debate the compromise version of the Fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill this week; the House passed it last week. If that bill becomes law, there’ll still be the need for the new spending bill to fund the dollar levels set for Fiscal 2014 in the authorization legislation, service spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told the Daily Report on Dec. 16. The current continuing resolution, the appropriations legislation that’s been funding the federal government since the partial government shutdown in October, expires in mid-January. “If we don’t get an appropriation, we will need another CR,” said Stefanek. The Air Force has already submitted its Fiscal 2015 budget proposal to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and plans the public rollout of its Fiscal 2015 spending request in February based on its current numbers, she said.