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Obama’s Final Pentagon Budget Request May Renew Clash Over Spending ‘Gimmick’

...Where Obama regarded the $58.8 billion in active war funds for the Near and Middle East as a ceiling, the armed services and appropriations panels may view it as a floor to which they could add dollars, said Katherine Blakeley, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, in a briefing for reporters.

Though derided as a “gimmick” or “slush fund,” the $8 billion added to the overseas war funding account last year allowed a polarized Congress and the Obama administration to reach a larger budget deal. But the administration’s fiscal 2017 budget request, expected at $524.2 billion, is apt to start $22 billion “in the hole” due to continued caps from the 2011 Budget Control Act, Blakeley said. She also projected a $104 billion cumulative delta in the five-year plan ending in 2021...

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