It would seem little elves have added over 1,200 ‘program increases’ to the DoD budget for 2024

by Gabe Murphy, Responsible Statecraft

It’s that time of year, and despite all the budgetary drama unfolding on Capitol Hill, lawmakers have already finished most of their holiday shopping for their favorite children: Pentagon contractors.

Through cryptic “program increases” to the defense budget appropriations for fiscal year 2024, most with no listed author and little to no justification, Congress has added more than $25 billion to the Pentagon’s procurement and research accounts for fiscal year 2024.

Ballistic missile launch from underwater at sunset

Based on the continuing resolution that Congress passed in November, Congress has until February 2 to either pass another stopgap measure, or pass a final Pentagon spending bill, at which point we should be able to see which program increases make the cut. If history is any indication, almost all of them will be in the final bill.

In the meantime, a new database created by Taxpayers for Common Sense reveals each of these program increases, whether they fund projects that weren’t funded at all in the Pentagon’s budget request, and whether they fund projects requested in Unfunded Priorities Lists (UPLs), extra-budgetary wish lists that Congress requires military service branch and combatant command leaders to submit to Congress each year.

Read More