Military Times’ Leo Shane Talks Budget, NDAA, Quality of Life

January 12, 2024

Lawmakers returned to D.C. this week for their new session. Many are optimistic for a bipartisan spending plan that already seems in jeopardy.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) agreed last weekend to top-line spending numbers for defense and non-defense spending, which is causing Johnson problems within his caucus as appropriations deadlines approach on Jan. 19 and Feb. 2.

“I think we’ll know by Feb. 2 whether or not this is going to be a full-panic-mode year or this is going to be… where we move ahead,” Military Times Deputy Director Leo Shane III said on the new episode of America’s Defense Communities | The Podcast. “These last few weeks of January are really going to be key, both for the current year and for all the planning in 2025.”

Personnel issues in the NDAA

“[The NDAA] had… a 5.2% pay raise that that went into effect on Jan. 1. That’s good news for military families,” Shane said. “We did see the smallest end strength authorized since 1940…. That’s a major point of concern for a lot of lawmakers, but it also reflects the difficult recruiting and retention environment that we’ve seen in recent years.”

The possibility of a full-year stopgap bill

“The refrain from the Pentagon has been, ‘We know that it’s late. We know that everyone’s frustrated that there’s not an appropriations deal yet. But for the love of God, do not do a full-year continuing resolution…. That locks in the spending levels for the last fiscal year…. There’s an extra bonus problem with a full-year CR this year. And that has to do with the idea of a return to sequestration.”

Check out the full discussion

Listen now to our full chat on Apple or Spotify. You can also search for “America’s Defense Communities | The Podcast” wherever you listen to podcasts. In your preferred podcast app, subscribe to “America’s Defense Communities | The Podcast” so you never miss a new episode.

DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. John Wright

January 12, 2024

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