Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan speaks Friday at a MIlitary Reporters & Editors conference in Arlington, Va. Staff photo by Amy McCullough
Though the individual services are moving forward with a single Fiscal 2020 budget, the Defense Department comptroller will pull together two. The first will be the $733 billion budget that’s been in the works for months, while the second will be the $700 billion budget promised by President Trump last week. “We are not going to reverse course on all that planning,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Friday. “ … There are certain things you can’t change. There are near-term costs we’re going to spend in the next year that are on contract and for all intents and purposes are fixed. Then there are other costs where we have knobs to turn in terms of timing.” Hypersonics weapons is one of those knobs, said Shanahan, who said the department must choose whether it’s going to move forward with the number of programs underway or defer them until later. “It comes down to having a judgment call. How fast do we want to modernize? That’s probably the biggest knob we have to turn. So we are building two budgets concurrently, but it will give the secretary a clear understanding of what the tradeoffs are … and then everybody will decide what to do with that.” —Amy McCullough
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