Holding the Government Accountable

The Omnibus Bill: Classic Pentagon Pork Bait and Switch

Commissioning of USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) in Galveston, Texas. (Photo: U.S. Navy / Rosalie Garcia)

As in the past, current lawmakers are lamenting a looming military readiness crisis. Not surprisingly, the solution to the “problem” remains the same: increasing the Pentagon’s budget. The House Armed Services Committee even went so far as to issue a press release claiming that 42 servicemembers died in the summer of 2017 because of budget stinginess. The Project On Government Oversight has already written about the ghoulish practice of exploiting military tragedies to score political points, even when investigations show those accidents have little to nothing to do with spending, as was the case in the 2017 accidents.

Congress, particularly the members of the service committees, seized the opportunity presented by the rushed nature of a consolidated appropriations process to increase defense spending with the 2018 omnibus funding bill, appropriating a near-record $654.7 billion in base and overseas contingency operations defense spending. A closer look at how Congress appropriated funds suggests that for all their talk about readiness problems, their true interests lie in buying new toys.

Read the rest of the article in The American Conservative.