Pentagon Goes On An $8 Billion Year-End Technology Spending Spree

December 31, 2012

While lawmakers went into overdrive to hammer out a budget deal before tax increases and automatic spending cuts kick in Jan. 1, the Defense Department pumped out billions of dollars in new weapons contracts in a move apparently designed to obligate funds before year end. If Congress and the White House do not reach a budget agreement today the Pentagon will have to absorb $50 billion in automatic spending cuts under a budget rule known as sequestration.

On Sept. 20, Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told members of the House Armed Services Committee that budget cuts imposed under sequestration would have no impact on prior-year funds already obligated on existing contracts.

Among the deals announced Dec. 28 was $4.9 billion in contracts to Lockheed Martin Corp. for the Pentagon’s most expensive project in history -- the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.

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