Defense Funding in the Budget Control Act of 2011


  • The initial caps on discretionary spending included in the bill will likely result in the FY 2012 base defense budget falling to $525 billion.  In comparison, the current level of funding for FY 2011 is $530 billion and the president’s request for FY 2012 is $553 billion.
  • If the Joint Committee bill is not enacted, the trigger provision in the bill would automatically cut the FY 2013 base defense budget to approximately $472 billion.  This compares to the CBO baseline of $549 billion and the president’s FYDP projection of $571 billion for FY 2013.
  • The trigger would return the base defense budget to its FY 2007 level of funding in FY 2013, adjusting for inflation, and would hold it near that level for the following eight years.
  • Given the abruptness of the cuts imposed under the trigger and the real possibility that Congress may not be able to reach a deficit reduction compromise in time to avoid the trigger, DoD should immediately begin contingency planning for how to handle such a reduction.
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