The House Appropriations Committee today released the Subcommittee draft of the fiscal year 2012 Defense Appropriations bill, which will be considered in the Subcommittee tomorrow.
The legislation includes funding for critical national security needs, and provides the necessary resources to continue the nation’s military efforts abroad. In addition, the bill provides essential funding for health and quality of life programs for the men and women of the Armed Services and their families. In total, the bill provides $530 billion in non-emergency funding, an increase of $17 billion over last year’s level and a decrease of $9 billion from the President’s request. In addition, the bill contains $119 billion in emergency spending for Defense activities related to the Global War on Terror – $39 billion less than last year due to the drawdown of U.S. forces overseas.
“This Defense bill will provide our troops with the critical resources they need, and will allow for the advancement of our nation’s missions abroad and the protection of our people here at home. As our soldiers and Marines continue to put their lives on the line to eliminate terrorism and protect freedom around the globe, it is imperative that Congress provide adequate funding for our national defense in a timely manner. And, given the nation’s fiscal crisis, the legislation also targets appropriate savings in areas that will not impair the safety of our troops or the success of our military actions,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said.
“Despite being $9 billion below the request, this bill fulfills our obligation to the brave men and women who selflessly serve our country, as well as their families,. My long-standing commitment is that we will not adversely affect any soldier or have an adverse effect on our nation’s readiness. It is a commitment I made and that I am keeping with this bill. While making sensible, rational reductions, we have provided the Department the resources it needs to continue our overseas commitments. It also allows us to continue to modernize and maintain readiness at the levels needed for our military to preserve its standing as the most capable and superior armed forces in the world,” Subcommittee Chairman C.W. Bill Young said.
Ongoing Military Operations – The bill contains $119 billion – $841 million above the President’s request and $39 billion below last year – for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This will provide critical resources for our troops in the field, including funding for personnel requirements, operational needs, and maintenance of facilities and equipment. This also includes $13 billion in funding for the training and equipping of Afghan Security forces, and $1.1 billion for the Pakistan Counter-insurgency Capability Fund (PCCF). However, the bill includes language to withhold 75% of PCCF funds until the Secretary of Defense provides a report to Congress on a strategy and metrics for the use of these funds.
Military Personnel and Pay – The legislation includes $132.1 billion – $5.4 billion more than last year’s level – to provide for 1,408,000 active duty troops and 847,100 reserves. This also includes a 1.6% pay raise for the military, which is in line with pending Defense Authorization legislation.
Defense Health and Military Family Programs – The bill contains $32.3 billion – $935 million above last year’s level and $119 million above the request – for Defense health programs to provide care for our troops and military families. This includes $223 million for cancer research, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health treatment, $30 million for orthopedic research, and $15 million for restorative transplant research. The legislation also includes $2.3 billion for family support and advocacy programs.
Operation and Maintenance – Included in the legislation is $170 billion for operation and maintenance – $780 million below the request and $4.4 billion above enacted levels. This includes essential funding for key readiness programs to prepare our troops for combat and peace-time missions, flight time and battle training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations.
Research and Development – The bill contains $73 billion – $1.9 billion below last year’s level and $2.3 billion below the President’s request – for research, development, testing, and evaluation of new technologies. This funding for basic and applied science research will help to advance the safety and success of current and future military operations, and will help prepare our forces with the systems and equipment necessary to meet potential challenges down the road. For example, the bill fully funds the tanker replacement program, and research and development for the P8-A Poseidon, the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) Unmanned Arial Vehicle, the Navy Combat Air Vehicle, and the CH-53K helicopter.
Equipment Procurement – The legislation provides a total of $107.6 billion – $5.5 billion above last year and $3.6 billion below the President’s request – for new equipment and upgrades to ensure that our military forces have the platforms, weapons, and other equipment they need to train, maintain military infrastructure, and conduct successful operations. For example, the bill includes $15.1 billion for the construction of ten Navy ships, $5.9 billion for 32 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft (19 Air Force, 7 Navy, 6 Marine Corps), $2.8 billion for 116 H-60 Blackhawk helicopters (71 Army, 42 Navy, and 3 Air Force), $1.4 billion for 47 CH-47 Chinook helicopters, $1.1 billion for 11 C-130J aircraft, and $699 million for 48 MQ-9 Reaper UAVs.
Guantanamo Bay – The legislation prohibits funding for transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. or its territories, prohibits funding to modify any facility in the U.S. to house detainees, and places conditions on the release of detainees to other countries. These provisions are virtually identical to language contained in the fiscal year 2011 Defense Appropriations legislation.
Rescissions and Reductions from the President’s Request – The bill makes common-sense reductions from the President’s request in areas that will not affect the safety or success of our troops and missions, while also increasing overall funding for Defense activities by 3% over last year. Some of these reductions from the request include: -$500 million for unjustified supply increases, -$400 million in logistic support contract savings, -$435 million in savings stemming from production delays in the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), and -$524 million in program delay savings of the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMAARS). In addition, the bill rescinds $1.7 billion in unneeded prior year funds where appropriate and $1.3 billion for improved economic assumptions. In addition, the legislation does not provide funds to continue the F-35 second engine program.
For a table comparing the subcommittee draft of the FY 12 Defense Appropriations Bill with last year's level and the President's request, please click here.