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House Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Appropriations Bill

Legislation will provide funding for critical national security programs, the health and safety of U.S. troops, and military operations overseas


Washington, Jun 4 -

The House Appropriations Committee today released the subcommittee draft of the fiscal year 2014 Defense Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation includes funding for critical national security needs, and provides 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 Forces and their families.

In total, the bill provides $512.5 billion in non-war funding, a decrease of $5.1 billion below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $3.4 billion below the President’s request. This is approximately $28.1 billion above the current level caused by automatic sequestration spending cuts.

“It is our duty and responsibility to prioritize tax dollars and target funding to where it’s needed most, and there is absolutely no higher national priority than the protection of our country through a strong national defense,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This bill provides the funding necessary to advance our missions abroad, to prepare and equip our troops, and to ensure readiness and effectiveness of our military so that they can successfully face any threat to our land.”

“This Subcommittee has worked in its true bipartisan fashion to provide the Department and intelligence community with the resources needed to maintain and modernize the best equipped and most capable military in the world. I have always maintained that this Subcommittee would not adversely impact the readiness of our military. We have kept that commitment, as well as our commitment to the brave men and women, and their families, who selflessly serve our country,” Defense Subcommittee Chairman C.W. Bill Young said.

Bill Highlights:

Ongoing Military Operations – The bill contains $85.8 billion for ongoing military operations in Afghanistan. This is a reduction of $1.5 billion compared to the previous year’s level, due to the strategic drawdown of forces overseas. This funding will provide the needed resources for our troops in the field, including funding for personnel requirements, operational needs, the purchase of new aircraft to replace combat losses, combat vehicle safety modifications, and maintenance of facilities and equipment.

Military Personnel and Pay – The legislation includes $129.6 billion to provide for 1,361,400 active-duty troops and 833,700 reserves. This funding level is $2.1 billion above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. The bill fully funds the authorized 1.8 percent pay raise for the military, instead of 1 percent as requested by the President.

Defense Health and Military Family Programs – The bill contains $33.6 billion – $858 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $519 million above the request – for the Defense Health Program to provide care for our troops, military families, and retirees. Increases above the request include $246 million for cancer research, $225 million for medical facility upgrades, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $20 million for suicide prevention outreach programs.

Operation and Maintenance – Included in the legislation is $175 billion for operation and maintenance – $124 million below the request and $1.5 billion above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. This contains essential funding for key readiness programs to prepare our troops for combat and peacetime missions, flight time and battle training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations.

Within this funding, the bill includes $922 million to restore unrealistic reductions in the request to facility sustainment and modernization, $536 million for a fuel shortfall (estimated by GAO), and full funding for the Tuition Assistance program at $570 million. Additionally, the bill fully funds Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs at $157 million, and it adds $25 million to expand sexual assault victim assistance programs.

Research and Development – The bill contains $66.4 billion – $3.5 billion below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $1.1 billion below the President’s request – for research, development, testing, and evaluation of new defense technologies. This basic and applied research, system development, and testing will help to advance the safety and success of current and future military operations, and will help prepare our nation to meet a broad range of potential security threats.

Included in this funding is continued research and development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the KC-46A tanker program, the P8-A Poseidon, the new Air Force bomber program, the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the Navy’s Future Unmanned Carrier-based Strike System, the Ohio-class submarine replacement, the Army and Marine Corps Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the Army Ground Combat Vehicle, the Israeli Cooperative Programs, and other important development programs.

Equipment Procurement – The legislation provides a total of $98.4 billion – $2 billion below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $750 million below the President’s request – for equipment and upgrades. This funding is necessary to ensure our nation’s military readiness, and will provide the necessary platforms, weapons, and other equipment our forces need to train, maintain our force, and conduct successful operations.

For example, the bill includes $15 billion to procure eight Navy ships, including fully funding two SSN-774 Attack Submarines; $5.1 billion for 29 F-35 aircraft; $1.9 billion for 21 EA-18G Growlers; $2.2 billion for 73 UH-60 Blackhawk and 37 MH-60S/R helicopters; $1.5 billion for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account; $1.8 billion for five Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles; $1.5 billion for 18 C-130J variants; and $220 million for the Israeli Cooperative Program – Iron Dome. 

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 similar to language contained in the fiscal year 2013 Defense Appropriations legislation.

Savings and Reductions to President’s Request – The bill reflects common-sense decisions to save taxpayer dollars where possible in areas that will not affect the safety or success of our troops and missions. Some of these reductions include: $1 billion in anticipated excess funding; $437 million for the proposed civilian pay raise; and $2.1 billion in savings from rescissions of unused prior-year funding.

For text of the legislation, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-113HR-SC-AP-FY2014-Defense-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

 

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