House Republicans on Tuesday introduced its fiscal year 2017 budget proposal, which provides $551 billion in base funding for defense and $74 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).

Those numbers conform to the funding levels set by the Bipartisan Budget Act and echo the president’s FY ’17 national security budget request, which put forward the same amounts. The Defense Department’s share of the pie includes $523.9 billion for base expenses and $58.8 billion in wartime expenses it spelled out in its own budget request. The State Department’s $14.9 billion OCO request makes up the rest of the wartime spending pot.

US_Capitol_Building_at_night_Jan_2006That isn’t enough money for defense, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said after a speech at the Brookings Institution, but he will be supporting the budget proposal anyway.

“The president has played games with the OCO [account] by asking for a lot more OCO activities without asking for more money to pay for those activities, and those are points I’ve repeatedly made to my colleagues including last night,” he said.

But given the recent history of continuing resolutions and sequestration, getting a defense appropriations bill through Congress by the end of the fiscal year would be a victory in itself, he said. “There is a chance to get a defense appropriations bill so that service members don’t have to worry about whether they’re getting paid and about whether their helicopters are going to be maintained and so forth. We need to take advantage of that.”

The House GOP plan assumes $23 billion of the OCO account will go toward base defense funding requirements, effectively boosting the base to $574 billion. But Thornberry is concerned that would leave a shortfall of about $18 billion for wartime expenses that include counter-ISIL operations and the expansion of the European Reassurance Initiative that builds up U.S. ground forces in Eastern Europe.

The result is that there will not be enough money to fund OCO activities through all of fiscal 2017, although there will be enough to last throughout the rest of the Obama administration, he said.

“That gives a new administration the chance to evaluate the OCO activities [Obama has] planned and the OCO money he [Obama] has requested and to reconcile those two,” he said. “So if I have two chances to have a decent outcome — a chance at an appropriation bill and then a chance for a new administration to reconcile this mismatch, I’m going to take it.”

The defense portion of the GOP budget plan, which spans from FY ’17 to FY ’26, would increase the defense budget by $89 billion over the Budget Control Act of 2011 caps and the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates, the proposal states.

“We need real solutions to overcome the fiscal, economic, and national security challenges facing our nation,” House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) said in a statement. “The fiscal year 2017 House Republican budget, A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America, provides a vision and specific solutions for how we can, as a nation, get our fiscal house in order, strengthen our national security, provide support for those who need assistance, and empower our citizens and our communities. It is a plan to balance the budget through commonsense reforms and greater economic growth; to create a healthier economy, more secure nation, and a more accountable Washington.”