July 27, 2010
Appropriations Subcommittee Approves Fiscal Year 2011 Defense Funding Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense today approved legislation to fund the Department of Defense and other national security operations through the next fiscal year. The bill contains $523.9 billion in total discretionary funding, which is $15.7 billion above last year’s funding level and $7 billion below the President’s request.
The legislation includes funding for critical national security needs, and provides the necessary resources for our troops 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.
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis supported the legislation in today’s closed subcommittee mark-up.
“There is no question that our troops and their families deserve the full support of this Congress. Over the past nine years of military conflict overseas, the brave men and women of our military have served this country with the highest level of dedication and perseverance. They and their families have made daily sacrifices to ensure the security of our nation, and the ability of all Americans to carry out our lives in safety and freedom,” Lewis said.
“This legislation provides our troops with the resources they need – including funding for operations and equipment, pay, health programs, and family support services – so that they can be fully prepared and cared for as they serve our country. It is critical that this important legislation be approved by the full Committee and passed in the House as soon as possible, to ensure that these funds are in the hands of our military commanders, and to fulfill our commitment to our troops and their families,” Lewis continued.
Specifically, the legislation provides $157.8 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $31.5 billion for Defense health programs to support troops and their families. In addition, the bill includes an additional $1 billion above the request to support the growing number of troops returning home from deployments.
The legislation also funds procurements of military equipment and resources, including $1.5 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment investments. This bill also includes $16.1 billion for ten Navy ships – one more than the request bringing the Navy closer to their stated 313 ship requirement – and funding to repair or replace several helicopters that have been damaged or lost in recent combat operations in Afghanistan.
Republicans offered two amendments in subcommittee. The first amendment, offered by Ranking Member Lewis, provided $450 million to continue development of the F136 alternate engine, offset with a reduction in funding for a stockpile replenishment program.
“There has been much debate on the issue of the second engine, but it all comes down to this: competition saves money. I truly believe that spending a little money today will save a great deal in the future. And, to the question of a possible veto by the President, I say that we cannot let fear and threats keep us from doing what we believe is right for the taxpayers and our troops,” Lewis said in support of his amendment.
The second amendment, offered Rep. Frelinghuysen, would strike and replace language in the legislation that allows Guantanamo Detainees to be transferred into the United States for prosecution. The amendment is virtually identical to language that passed the House in the Defense Authorization Bill, and would place a blanket prohibition on all transfers or releases into the U.S. The amendment would also prohibit funds from being used to acquire or modify a facility in the U.S. to detain or imprison Guantanamo detainees.
Both amendments were approved by the subcommittee.