Defense Cuts, BRAC Unlikely to Happen Soon, Budget Analysts Tell ADC Summit

March 7, 2023

Despite calls from a handful of members on both sides of the aisle, it is unlikely there will be large defense cuts in the next fiscal years, a panel of policy analysts said Monday at the Defense Communities National Summit.

“Congress will boost the defense budget above inflation and boost deterrents” from China and Russia, said AEI Senior Fellow Mackenzie Eaglen. “We hear from a vocal minority, but that’s where the votes are.”

Eaglen repeated her assessment from last year’s Summit that the Republican Party is in a “long-term breakup” with defense spending.

If there are cuts this year or in future years, some lawmakers may look at quality of life programs that impact military families, in which DOD has invested heavily.

“The question is, if there are cuts, what’s going to be cut? Is it going to be death by 1,000 cuts by programs getting downgraded?” said Karen Jowers, a senior reporter at Military Times. “You in defense communities understand what military families go through. They live, work and spend money in your communities.”

The spending showdown makes “a government shutdown at the end of the year as political theater more likely than ever,” said Matthew Herrmann, senior advisor at The Roosevelt Group. “From a defense community standpoint, it’s a concern, because you have workforce impacts, and it may happen around the holidays.”

The other looming crisis is the showdown over raising the debt limit, said Todd Harrison, managing director of Metrea Strategic Insights.

“I worry we may hit that crisis point earlier than the end of the fiscal year,” Harrison said.

The panelists agreed it is unlikely that lawmakers will approve a round of base closures this year and that DOD probably won’t include it in in its budget request, which will start rolling out this week.

ADC photo by Will Noonan

March 7, 2023

Recent News

In Our Communities

In Our Communities

About 15 high school students and parents from Alaska’s Raven Homeschool toured the Army National Guard’s Combined Support Maintenance Shop and Bryant Army Airfield at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska last week, according to a DVIDS story. “The Guard does not...

Snap of the Week

Snap of the Week

Marine Corps Cpl. Gerald Wells III, a member of the Silent Drill Platoon, conducts a rifle inspection during a flyover of the Navy’s Blue Angels C-130 Super Hercules aircraft, nicknamed “Fat Albert,” at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona Feb. 13. Marine Corps...

Space Force Considers Eight-Year Commitment for New Recruits

Space Force Considers Eight-Year Commitment for New Recruits

The Space Force is considering asking prospective guardians to enlist for an initial eight-year term as a way to create a stable workforce, Military Times reported. That’s twice as long as the typical-first term enlistment. “I know eight years is a big commitment to...

DOD Awards REPI Challenge Funding at 22 Installations

DOD Awards REPI Challenge Funding at 22 Installations

The DOD Readiness and Environment Protection Integration Program has awarded REPI Challenge funds for 17 projects, benefitting 22 installations and many nearby communities, according to a recent announcement. DOD contributed $23 million to the projects, with more than...

PAST STORIES