President Biden has not released the President’s Budget by the statutory deadline of the first Monday in February, citing the lack of cooperation from the previous administration’s out-going Office of Management Budget. Delays releasing the President’s Budget are common, especially for new administrations. The President is expected to release his full budget in early May.
In lieu of releasing the full budget request, President Biden’s Administration sent a letter requesting discretionary funding on April 9th, 2021. The letter outlines a base budget of $715.0B for the Department of Defense. President Biden indicated in this letter that he will not be requesting Overseas Contingency Operations as a separate funding category, instead opting to include this funding into the base DoD budget. This demonstrates a major shift from how the DoD has been funded since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
NGAUS Legislative staff remains engaged with our Congressional partners on issues affecting the operational National Guard. The delay in the release of the President’s Budget has provided NGAUS with the opportunity to continue coalition building with members of Congress and our existing partners around key lines of effort. Those efforts include equipment procurement and modernization, securing resources for the National Guard and building support for expanding benefits for the men and women of the National Guard.
NGAUS Legislative Staff continues garnering support to ensure that the National Guard is fielding equipment concurrently and proportionally with the Active Component, with a focus on major weapons platforms such as the UH-60M, AH-64E Block III, F-35A, KC-46 and C-130J. NGAUS has also been successful in building coalitions of Members willing to continue to modernize National Guard HMMWVs, M1s, M2s, C-130Hs, A-10s, F-15s and F-16s.
NGAUS continues to build support for the establishment of 8 fully interoperable and deployable Army National Guard Divisions. Efforts continue to establish a Space National Guard within the structure of the Space Force. On the resourcing front, NGAUS remains optimistic on NGREA and MILCON funding levels the National Guard will receive from FY2023 Appropriations legislation.
NGAUS remains engaged with Congress on key personnel issues, seeing a large gain in support from both sides of the aisle. These issues include zero cost TRICARE, post 9/11 GI Bill parity, modifications to the DD-214 document and tax incentives for employers of Guardsmen.