Hagel to Offer Early Preview of Military Budget

The move comes a week before the White House submits its budget to Congress.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel responds to a question from a reporter at the Pentagon, September 18, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia.
National Journal
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Jordain Carney
Feb. 14, 2014, 5:07 a.m.

De­fense Sec­ret­ary Chuck Hagel is ex­pec­ted to of­fer a sneak peak of the De­fense De­part­ment’s fisc­al 2015 budget re­quest later this month.

Sources told Re­u­ters that on Feb. 24 the De­fense sec­ret­ary would out­line the fund­ing pri­or­it­ies for the de­part­ment, which re­ceived some re­lief from the se­quester cuts in Decem­ber’s budget agree­ment but still — like the rest of the gov­ern­ment — faces a tight fisc­al cli­mate.

Of­fi­cials pre­vi­ously said they would re­quest $542 bil­lion for the up­com­ing fisc­al year, but Decem­ber’s budget agree­ment put base spend­ing for the Pentagon at roughly $498 bil­lion, leav­ing of­fi­cials to cut roughly $44 bil­lion.

Hagel has sidestepped an­swer­ing dir­ect ques­tions about where the de­part­ment would cut, but he sug­ges­ted that of­fi­cials couldn’t tar­get just one area and that there would be across-the-board ad­just­ments.

The White House is ex­pec­ted to re­lease the 2015 fisc­al year budget on March 4.