first_imgThe compromise version of the fiscal 2016 budget resolution may jettison a procedural hurdle that could block the Senate from allocating $38 billion in extra funding stashed in DOD’s overseas contingency operations account (OCO).The funds were added to the war account in both chambers’ budget blueprints as a way of eluding the $523 billion Budget Control Act cap on national security spending. The Senate’s version, though, includes a point of order on spending from the OCO that exceeds $58 billion, the original amount requested by the Obama administration.If the point of order remains in the compromise budget, Senate Democrats — as well as fiscal conservatives — could block appropriations from the OCO that exceed $58 billion unless defense hawks can produce 60 votes to override the objection. Democrats could be expected to object to the use of the extra funding for the Pentagon because of the lack of a deal permitting domestic spending to exceed the budget caps. Fiscal conservatives could object due to the lack of an offset to the extra defense spending.The dispute between defense hawks and fiscal conservatives over FY 2016 defense spending will continue to play over the rest of the year, but there is a good chance fiscal hawks will allow the point of order to be stripped from the budget resolution to maintain Republican unity on the issue, reports CQ Roll Call.John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he believes the conference committee will remove the point of order from the final budget resolution.“I hope and believe that they will not have that requirement in the conference,” McCain said. “And no, I could not vote for it with a budget point of order,” he said of the conference agreement. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img

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