Defense Subcommittee Chairman Bill Young Floor Statement on H.R. 2397, the Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Appropriations Act

Jul 23, 2013

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I yield myself 5 minutes to discuss the fiscal year 2014 Defense Appropriations bill. 

The bill includes base funding of $512.5 billion for the Department of Defense, which is $3.4 billion below the CBO estimate of the President’s request, and approximately $28.1 billion above the estimated fiscal year 2013 sequestration level.  For Overseas Contingency Operations, the bill includes $85.8 billion, which is $1.5 billion below last year’s level. 

We have worked closely with all interested parties to produce a good, bi-partisan bill.  And despite the reduction in our base allocation, we were able to accomplish much.  For example, the bill adds:

  • $580 million to fully fund the authorized military pay raise;
  • $536 million to fully fund anticipated fuel costs;
  • $950 million to fully fund the 2nd Virginia Class submarine;
  • $922 million to restore Facility Sustainment, Modernization and Restoration funding; and
  • $692 million for military medical research, including $246 million for cancer research and $125 million for Traumatic Brain Injury research.

Examples in OCO include:

  • $1.5 billion for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account;
  • $1.1 billion for depot maintenance shortfalls;
  • $1.3 billion for Army reset requirements; and
  • $1.1 billion for the OCO Transfer Fund to provide flexibility in addressing unanticipated or emergency OCO costs.

I committed long ago that that I would never write or support a bill which adversely affected any soldier or their family, or which had a negative impact on our nation’s readiness.  I firmly believe we have kept that promise with this bill, although more could have been done to repair the damage to readiness already caused by sequestration if resources were not constrained. 

This bill provides the Department with the much needed resources required 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.  In that regard, it is essential that we pass it as soon as possible. 

Also, I would like to note that while this bill is written to $512.5 billion, if sequestration were allowed to continue in fiscal year 2014, the actual funds provided to the Department are estimated to be $468 billion – more than $44 billion less.  That would also be $16 billion below the sequestration level the Department is trying to execute this fiscal year (2013).  It is imperative that we fix sequestration and not subject our military to another year of draconian reductions.  Readiness is already jeopardized…any further cuts would be devastating. 

Finally, before I yield back I would just like to thank the Ranking Member Pete Visclosky for being an invaluable partner.  It was pleasure working with him in his first year as Ranking Member subcommittee in the true bipartisan tradition of the subcommittee. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back.