Cochran Mum on Extra $38 Billion for Defense

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Senate subcommittee that doles out defense dollars is playing coy about whether he will include $38 billion in extra funds in his 2016 Pentagon spending bill.

The House and Senate Armed Services committees, followed this week by the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee, crafted legislation with nearly $90 billion overseas contingency operations (OCO) funds. That’s $38 billion more than the White House requested — monies added by GOP leaders to secure defense hawks’ votes on their 2016 budget blueprint.

CongressWatch on Wednesday asked Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., if he would do the same. Cochran kept his cards close.

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