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House Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Bill

Bill will continue to rebuild our military after years of cuts, fund operations overseas, help address growing global threats, and provide care for our troops


Washington, Jun 25 -

The House Appropriations Committee today released the subcommittee draft of the fiscal year 2018 Defense Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation funds the Department of Defense – including operations, readiness activities, and health and quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families.

The legislation provides a total of $658.1 billion for the Department of Defense. This includes $584.2 billion in discretionary funding – an increase of $68.1 billion above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $18.4 billion above the President’s Defense budget request. The bill also provides $73.9 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding.

“After years of unnecessary and unwise cuts to our national security under the last Administration, this legislation is a step forward in rebuilding our military and ensuring our nation is ready to meet any new or existing threat,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “Not only will this bill help provide our troops and commanders with the resources they need to do their jobs, it also will ensure the success of our missions, the safety of our people, and the stability we need around the globe to make a brighter and more secure future for all.”

“Our armed forces must be able to respond to threats from countries like Russia and China, deter rogue states like Iran and North Korea, and crush violent extremists who adhere to no fixed borders. This bill reflects what our military leaders have recommended in countless meetings and briefings and demonstrates our commitment to restoring military readiness, force modernization efforts, and maintaining technological superiority on the battlefield. The last thing we want is to permit our enemies a fair fight,” said Defense Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger.

Bill Highlights:

Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) – The legislation includes $73.9 billion in OCO/GWOT funding. This will provide the needed resources for preparation and operations in the field to fight ongoing threats, including funding for personnel requirements, operational needs, the purchase of new aircraft to replace combat losses, combat vehicle safety modifications, additional Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets, and maintenance of facilities and equipment. It also provides critical support to our key allies, such as Israel, Ukraine and Jordan, to resist aggression.

Additional funds are targeted to requirements identified by our military services, including higher troop levels, readiness efforts, infrastructure, and equipment recapitalization and modernization. This also includes additional training time, facilities and aircraft repairs, procurement of modernized equipment, and the research and development of new military capabilities.

Military Personnel and Pay The legislation includes $138.3 billion – $133 billion for base requirements and $5.3 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – to provide for 1,324,000 active-duty troops and 822,900 Guard and Reserve troops. The bill includes $1 billion above the request for additional end strength, and fully funds a 2.4 percent pay raise for the military.

Operation and Maintenance Included in the legislation is $241 billion – $192 billion for base requirements and $49 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – for operation and maintenance. Funding for base requirements is $3.1 billion above the request and $24.1 billion above fiscal year 2017. This funding supports key readiness programs to prepare our troops for combat and peacetime missions, including flight time and battle training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations.

Within this amount, the bill includes $1 billion above the request to fill readiness shortfalls, $500 million above the request to invest in facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization programs, and $16.6 billion total for depot maintenance. This funding will help rebuild our forces to ensure our troops have the training and equipment they need.

Research and Development – The bill contains $84.3 billion – $82.7 billion for base requirements and $1.6 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – for research, development, testing, and evaluation of new defense technologies. Funding for base requirements is $10.3 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level, and will help to support current military operations and to prepare our nation to meet a broad range of future security threats.

Specifically, this funding will support research and development of: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; space security programs; the new Air Force bomber program; a next-generation JSTARS aircraft; the Ohio-class submarine replacement; Future Vertical Lift; the Israeli Cooperative Programs; and other important research and development activities, including those within the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Equipment Procurement The legislation provides a total of $149 billion – $132.5 billion for base requirements and $16.5 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – for equipment and upgrades. Funding for base requirements is $18.6 billion above the request and $24.1 billion above fiscal year 2017. These funds support our nation’s military readiness by providing the necessary platforms, weapons, and other equipment our military needs to train, maintain the force, and conduct successful operations.

For example, the bill includes: $21.5 billion to procure 11 Navy ships, including funding for one carrier replacement, two DDG-51 guided missile destroyers, two Virginia-class submarines, and three Littoral Combat Ships; $9.5 billion for 84 F-35 aircraft; $1.8 billion for 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft; $1.05 billion for 56 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters; $117.5 million for 12 MQ-1 Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicles; $1.2 billion for 7 P-8A Poseidon aircraft; $2.4 billion for 15 KC-46 tanker aircraft; $348 million for 116 Stryker Double V-Hull upgrades; $1.09 billion for the upgrade of 85 Abrams tanks; $483 million for the upgrade of 145 Bradley fighting vehicles; $332 million for the Israeli Cooperative Programs; $298 million for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV); $100 million for National Guard High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) recapitalization; and $1 billion for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account.

Defense Health and Military Family Programs – The bill contains $34 billion for base requirements – $150 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $267 million above the request – for the Defense Health Program to provide care for our troops, military families, and retirees.

Specifically, the bill provides $282 million for cancer research, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $277 million for sexual assault prevention and response. All of these funding levels represent increases above the President’s request.

Reductions and Rescissions to Save Tax Dollars – The bill reflects commonsense 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 savings include: $1 billion from lower-than-expected fuel costs, $345 million due to favorable economic conditions, and $1.5 billion in savings from rescissions of unused prior-year funding.

For text of the legislation, please click here.

 

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