In his Senate confirmation hearing this morning to become the next Secretary of Defense, CIA Director Leon Panetta (and former CRFB chairman!) said that every element of the defense budget needs to be on the table when we discuss ways to get control of our mounting federal debt.
Today's edition of USA Today features an editorial advocating increasing premiums for military retirees enrolled in TRICARE.
As part of a larger deficit-reduction effort, last month President Obama proposed cutting $400 billion from projected defense spending by 2023. Speaking at a conference in New York yesterday, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said that the Department of Defense (DoD) must now find ways to cut spending without affecting overall defense capability and effectiveness.
UPDATE: Gordon Adams over on CG&G argues that Panetta is the right man for the job for three reasons: he knows budgets, he's a decisive administrator, and he's bipartisan. Overall, he thinks it's a great appointment.
Deal on FY 2011 Spending Reached – A government shutdown was averted on Friday by an 11th hour agreement on federal spending for the rest of the fiscal year. The deal will cap 2011 appropriations at just under $1.050 trillion, reducing spending by about $38 billion from current levels. Congress passed a one week extension shortly after the deal was announced to allow time for the agreement to be drafted into legislation and enacted. The House is scheduled vote on the legislation enacting the budget agreement on Wednesday, with the Senate likely voting afterwards.
Keeping us on the edge of our seats until the very end, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced late Friday night that a deal had been reached on spending levels for the current fiscal year, just an hour before a government shutdown was set to occur. Though the President and leaders in Congress agreed to a six-month CR, a one-week CR was enacted to give Congress time to put the agreement into legislative language.
Today, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) introduced legislation to require Congress to offset war costs with other tax or spending changes.