The President urged Senate Democrats to "finish the job" on difficult issues even as they head into tough midterm elections.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The $708 billion U.S. Defense Department fiscal year 2011 proposal includes $159 billion for overseas operations, mainly Afghanistan and Iraq, officials said.
The request, which also includes $549 billion in discretionary budgeting authority, carries on the reforms set in last year's Pentagon budget, as well as builds on initiatives identified by the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday.
"The fiscal 2011 budget request builds on the reforms begun in last year's defense budget," Gates said. "These substantial changes to allocate defense dollars more wisely and reform the department's processes were broadened and deepened by the analysis and conclusions contained in the Quadrennial Defense Review."
The base budget request is an increase of $18 billion over the $531 billion enacted for fiscal 2010, the Defense Department said.
The budget request calls for the family support program to grow 3 percent above the 2010 levels, including $1.3 billion for childcare services, $1.9 billion for expanded counseling and assistance services and $84 million for enhanced career and educational opportunities for military spouses.
It also would eliminate funding for the C-17 aircraft program, the Joint Strike Fighter Alternative energy program and several other programs.
"The choices made and priorities set in these budget requests and strategic defense reviews reflect America's commitment to succeed in the wars we are in while making the investments necessary to prepare for threats on or beyond the horizon," Gates said.
Defense Department Comptroller Robert Hale indicated the budget includes a 1.4 percent pay raise for military and civilian personnel as well as an average 4.2 percent increase in the basic allowance for housing.
Also included is a 3.4 percent increase for the basic allowance for subsistence and full funding for military healthcare programs at $50.7 billion.
The Pentagon's fiscal 2011 "base budget request" of $549 billion is 1.8 percent higher than 2010's $531 billion total, Hale told the Defense Department news service.
"It's modest, but compared to what other federal agencies will be getting in this budget, we're doing well," he said.