The Pentagon’s budget plan for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 will outline how it would spend an additional $26 billion if Congress could find the money, according to U.S. officials.
The White House Office of Management and Budget last week directed the Pentagon to produce the what-if list as part of an “investment fund” it would include when President Barack Obama’s proposed budget is submitted to Congress on March 4.
The Pentagon would present the fund to demonstrate its priorities if more money were added to what was allocated in last month’s congressional budget deal, one of the officials said. The wish list could include weapons, base maintenance, projects to improve readiness or research programs, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified in advance of the budget release.
The White House will say in its budget presentation that the additional money would be offset by cuts in mandatory domestic spending and revenue increases, the officials said.
The “investment fund” is similar to the “unfunded priorities lists” the military services would submit to the House Armed Services Committee for years until then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates discouraged the practice.
The fiscal 2015 total for base defense spending, excluding war operations, is about $498 billion, about $43 billion less than the total projected by the Pentagon last year.
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