Analysis of House FY 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill

The House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill on May 17, 2016. Amendments under a structured rule – the Rules Committee will decide which amendments are permitted — are expected on the House floor on Wednesday, June 15.

 

Total funding: $576.3 billion, including $58.6 billion for the Oversea Contingency Operations, also called Global War on Terrorism – an increase of $3 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $587 million below the President’s budget request.

Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO): $58.6 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding – the level allowed under current law. However, the bill uses $15.7 billion of these funds to pay for base Pentagon budget programs – similar to the actions of the House Armed Services Committee.

Military Personnel and Pay: Rejects the troop reductions proposed by the Pentagon and instead adds 28,715 active forces (to bring the total to 1,310,615) and 25,000 for selected reserve forces above the requested levels (to bring the total to 826,200). The bill funds a 2.1% pay raise, the same as the authorization bill, instead of 1.6% as requested by the President.

Cost of nuclear weapons overhaul: (from committee report) “Committee notes the Secretary of Defense’s testimony that the total cost of nuclear modernization, estimated by the Secretary to be $350,000,000,000 to $450,000,000,000, presents an enormous affordability challenge.” [Emphasis added]

Cost of nuclear weapons overhaul (cont.): (from committee report) “The Committee directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the congressional defense committees not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act detailing the estimated life-cycle costs associated with the Department of Defense’s plan for replacing and sustaining all legs of the nuclear triad, including the ground-based strategic deterrent, the B–21 bomber, the long-range standoff weapon, the Ohio replacement program, and any associated warheads and supporting infrastructure.” [Emphasis added]

New nuclear submarines: $773.1 million for the initial procurement of the Ohio Replacement Submarine & $700.8 million for the continued research and development of the replacement submarine.

New nuclear bomber: $1.4 billion for research and development of a new penetrating bomber.

F-35 aircraft: (From committee report) $8.3 billion for the procurement of 74 F–35 Lightning aircraft, an increase of $988 million and 11 aircraft above the President’s request: 18 short take-off and vertical landing variants for the Marine Corps, eight carrier variants for the Navy, and 48 conventional variants for the Air Force. $1.8 billion for the research and development of the F-35.

KC–46 tanker aircraft: $2.8 billion for procurement 15 aircraft

F/A–18E/F aircraft: $1.2 billion for the procurement of 14 F/A–18E/F Super Hornet
aircraft, none of which was not requested by the Pentagon

UH–60 Blackhawk helicopters: Nearly $1.2 billion for the procurement of 72 UH–60 Blackhawk helicopters, an increase of $440 million and 36 helicopters above the
President’s request.

Apache helicopters: $374 million for the procurement of 10 AH–64 Apache helicopters, none of which were requested by the Pentagon.

Ships: (From committee report) $21.6 billion for the procurement of 15 Navy ships, including:
• Two DDG–51 guided missile destroyers
• Two fully funded SSN–774 attack submarines
• Three Littoral Combat Ships (two requested)
• And one moored training ship, one LHA replacement, one amphibious ship replacement, and five ship to shore connectors, a total increase of $3,215,950,000 and five ships above the President’s request;

Budget gimmicks: Claims “saved” money from the Pentagon request by estimating $1.5 billion from lower–than-expected fuel costs and $573 million due to favorable economic conditions.

Cooperative Threat Reduction: $325.6 million for non-proliferation activities in the former Soviet republics, compared to $358.5 million last year.

Reductions of strategic delivery systems: Section 8105 prohibits the use of funds to reduce or prepare to reduce the number of deployed and non-deployed strategic delivery vehicles and launchers.

A-10 aircraft: Section 8113 prohibits the use of funds to retire the A–10 aircraft.

Closing bases: Section 8121 prohibits the use of funds for Base Realignment and
Closure.

Guantanamo Bay prison: Section 8130 prohibits the use of funds to close facilities at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

Assistance to Ukraine: Provides $150 million for assistance for Ukrainian national security forces. Directs the purchase of items such as training, equipment, lethal weapons of a defensive nature, and logistics support.

Afghanistan Security Forces Fund: provides $3.4 billion for this fund.