Obama signs defense authorization bill

Spending levels largely unchanged from original budget request

President Barack Obama signed the defense authorization act late on Jan. 7, putting into practice the $725 billion defense budget for fiscal 2011 that Congress had passed. .

The spending levels in the fiscal 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 6523) are roughly equal to Obama’s budget request and 7 percent more than the enacted in last year’s bill.

Congress passed the bill in December, very late in the year after lengthy wrangling. Lawmakers removed or modified many controversial provisions, such as one that would have allowed officials to ban a contractor without notice under certain conditions. They also removed several provisions related to cybersecurity, including a White House Office of Cyberspace and an oversight board for IT compliance.

Starting with the next budget, for fiscal 2012, Defense Secretary Robert Gates' proposed measures for reducing costs may begin to manifest.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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Reader comments

Mon, Jan 10, 2011 deecm22 Washington DC

$26B over 10 years. Only $2B this fiscal year.

Mon, Jan 10, 2011 Sammy Wash DC

The next few month will probably show many questionable budget decisions. The one they won't see coming is the triggering of the mass exodus of retirement eligible government staff. Can't add to your high three for 2 or more years - might be better to retire and take a private sector job. How do you makeup for "government brain drain" and loss of decades of experience and wisdom with a saving of less than 2% of the Federal salaries? Doesn't exactly go with the idea of trying to attract new talent either...

Mon, Jan 10, 2011 Dennis Mobile, AL

I don't understand how it is fiscally responsible to freeze employee pay, potentially saving $26B over two years, but appropriate to increase defense spending by nearly $50B over one year?

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