Proposed FY2014 Budget for America

This morning President Obama officially presented a $3.8 trillion Budget Proposal to Congress for the coming year.  He plans to provide DoD with $526.6 billion in FY14 while seeking rein in defense spending by cutting a number of weapons systems, delaying the implementation of various programs, conducting a base realignment & closure (BRAC) round in 2015 and of course, raising TRICARE fees for military retirees.  The $526.6 billion figure does not however take into account sequestration’s across-the-board cuts which lowered the Pentagon’s current disbursement to $492.9 billion.  And it exceeds budget caps already put in place for next year by nearly $52 billion.  Disparities like these have some in Washington saying the document is of little value in charting the path forward for the department.

A quick assessment of the President’s plan for defense shows it would do the following:

  • Caps the military pay raise scheduled for January 1, 2014 at 1 percent (Under current law members are to receive a minimum of 1.8%)
  • Increases housing and subsistence allowances by 4.2 and 3.4 percent (respectively)
  • Requests a single round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) action in 2015
  • Raises TRICARE Prime enrollment fees, certain TRICARE deductibles and catastrophic caps
  • Creates new TRICARE Standard and Extra enrollment fees; and
  • Increases pharmaceutical co-pays for all beneficiaries except active-duty members

As AFSA predicted, a bright spot in the Presidents Budget Proposal is increased funding for the VA to meet the departments increasing needs.  Overall the President requested $152.7 billion for VA in FY 2014.  This includes $66.5 billion in discretionary resources and $86.1 billion in mandatory funding.  The rise in discretionary spending represents 4.3 percent iincrease over current spending levels.  Some of this increased funding would be targeted to improve VA’s claims process, strengthen mental health care services and incentivize employers to hire Veterans through a series of permanent tax credits.

In time, the proposed budget’s most controversial feature may prove to be the President’s plan to generate new revenue by cutting annual cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments for payments to disabled Veterans, survivors, military & federal retirees’ and Social Security recipients.  These reductions would be achieved through the use of a different formula to determine the annual raises known as the Chained CPI .  Although AFSA has been opposed to this change for quite some time, the public outcry is just begining.

Again, this is just a quick, initial assessment of the President’s Budget Proposal.  Additional details will be made available once we have had a chance to examine the document more thoroughly.

This bulletin was cross-posted from, the official website for the Air Force Sergeants Association Headquarters. It has been posted here for your convenience. Visit for more updates!

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