House Move to ‘Repurpose’ Overseas War Funding Is Risky, Critics Say

A maneuver by the House Armed Services Committee to “repurpose” funds for military operations overseas to pay for weapons systems and training is a likely bone of contention as Congress moves to consider the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

The bill, H.R. 4904, cleared the House panel April 28 on a 60-2 vote. It would move $18 billion from the overseas contingency operations fund to the Pentagon’s base budget while staying under the budget caps lawmakers and the Obama administration established last fall when they worked out a two-year budget deal.

The plan would fund overseas contingency operations at $35.7 billion until April 2017, at which time a new president would likely have to push for emergency supplemental funding to support U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and in the fight against ISIS.

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