Granted, we’re writing this on the East Coast where the weather has been particularly wretched this Spring. We’re getting tired of all this rain and that old saw about April showers bringing us May flowers just seems like a cruel joke when it is still pouring rain in the middle of May.
But if you’re a Pentagon contractor, you’re loving the fact that the House Appropriations Committee is causing showers of fresh cash to fall. At the end of 2016 we produced a “Candy Canes for Contractors” chart that showed all the procurement and research and development programs that were in the FY16 “Taxibus” spending bill but were never in the original President’s Budget Request. Not counting programs the Congress merely added funding to, the House and Senate spent more than $4.6 billion on projects and programs for which the Pentagon requested nothing, zippo, and nada last year.
Fast forward to the House Appropriations Committee’s draft of the Fiscal Year 2017 Pentagon spending bill. Upon further review, we’re sad to see the trend is sharply upward. Just looking at the programs the Pentagon did not request at all – ones they couldn’t fit into their $585 billion combined request of base budget and war funding – and we can identify $6.7 billion in funding for programs the Administration doesn’t want (see below, and click for a close-up).
We’ll be looking for similar actions when the Senate Appropriations Committee marks up its version of the bill. So, stay tuned!