WASHINGTON --- The House Appropriations Committee today introduced the final version of the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill, which will be considered on the House floor next week. The bill closely reflects the Defense Appropriations bill the House passed last summer, and is consistent with the final National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017.
The legislation funds critical national security needs, including military operations and readiness programs, as well as health and quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families.
In total, the bill provides $577.9 billion, an increase of $5.2 billion over the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $1.6 billion more than the Obama Administration’s request. This includes $516.1 billion in base discretionary funding – an increase of $2 billion above current levels – and $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding – $3.2 billion above current levels.
When combined with the $5.8 billion in supplemental funding enacted in the Continuing Resolution that passed in December, the total Defense funding for fiscal year 2017 is $583.7 billion, an increase of $10.9 billion over fiscal year 2016.
“The singular most important duty of Congress is to provide for our nation’s defense, and the rebuilding of our nation’s military starts with this bill. This legislation provides responsible funding to ensure that our troops have the resources they need to remain the very best in the world, and to fulfill the mission of protecting our country and our way of life,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “Enacting this essential legislation into law is paramount to our security.”
“The United States is facing unprecedented threats at home and abroad. From radical Islamic terrorism to resurgent adversaries testing American leadership and resolve, we must ensure we have the strongest, most effective military to keep us safe,” Defense Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger said. “I am proud this bill provides for our national security by starting to rebuild our military to make it stronger than ever. These resources are critical to improving readiness and addressing the needs of our men and women in uniform.”
Military Personnel and Pay – The agreement includes $132.1 billion – $128.7 billion for base requirements and $3.4 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – to provide for 1,305,900 active-duty troops and 813,200 Guard and Reserve troops. The agreement includes $1.6 billion above the request for increased end strength, to include military personnel and operational support costs.
The agreement denies the troop reductions proposed in the previous Administration’s fiscal year 2017 budget request. The agreement also fully funds the authorized 2.1 percent pay raise for the military, instead of 1.6 percent as requested by the previous Administration.
Operation and Maintenance – Included in the legislation is $215.3 billion – $167.6 billion for base requirements and $47.7 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – for operation and maintenance. In total this is $1.7 billion above fiscal year 2016. This funding supports key readiness programs to prepare our troops for combat and peacetime missions, including flight time and training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations.
Within this amount, the agreement includes an additional $1.9 billion above the request to fill readiness shortfalls, invest in facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization programs, provide for additional depot maintenance, and support increased end strength. This funding will help rebuild our forces to ensure our troops have the training and equipment they need to sustain our military superiority.
Research and Development – The agreement contains $72.7 billion – $72.3 billion for base requirements and $407 million for OCO/GWOT requirements – for research, development, testing, and evaluation of new defense technologies. Funding for base requirements is $2.5 billion above the fiscal year 2016 level, and will help to advance the safety and success of current and future military operations and 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; the GPS III operational control and space segments; the new Air Force bomber program; a next-generation JSTARS aircraft; the RQ-4 Triton Unmanned Aerial Vehicle; the Ohio-class submarine replacement; and other important research and development activities.
Equipment Procurement – The legislation provides a total of $117.8 billion – $108.4 billion for base requirements and $9.4 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – for equipment and upgrades. Funding for base and GWOT requirements is $6.8 billion above the previous Administration’s request and $2.4 billion below fiscal year 2016. 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 agreement includes:
-- $21.2 billion to procure 13 Navy ships, including three DDG-51 guided missile destroyers, three Littoral Combat Ships, one LPD-17, and advance procurement for the polar icebreaker recapitalization project;
-- $8.2 billion for 74 F-35 aircraft;
-- $1.1 billion for 14 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft;
-- $1.1 billion for 61 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters;
-- $774 million for 52 remanufactured AH-64 Apache helicopters, $190 million for 5 new Apaches, and $72 million to support advanced procurement needs for an additional 10 aircraft;
-- $187 million for 28 Lakota light utility helicopters;
-- an additional $114 million to equip two more brigades with WIN-T;
-- $1.8 billion for 11 P-8A Poseidon aircraft;
-- $2.6 billion for 15 KC-46 tanker aircraft;
-- $1.3 billion for 17 C/HC/KC/MC-130J aircraft; and
-- $210 million for HMMWV modernization for the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve. The agreement also includes $750 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment account.
In total, $600.7 million is provided for Israel Cooperative Programs. This includes $332 million for equipment procurement and $269 million in research and development – $455 million above the previous Administration’s request. An additional $43 million is also included for Israeli anti-tunneling efforts.
Defense Health and Military Family Programs – The agreement contains $34.1 billion for base and GWOT requirements – $1.5 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $314 million above the previous Administration’s request – for the Defense Health Program to provide care for our troops, military families, and retirees. The agreement provides $312 million for cancer research, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $296 million for sexual assault prevention and response. All of these funding levels represent increases above the budget request for these programs.
Force Structure – The agreement rejects the Obama Administration’s proposed troop reductions. Instead, the agreement provides increases above fiscal year 2016, including funds for an additional 1,000 active-duty Army soldiers, 1,000 Army National Guard soldiers, 1,000 Army Reserve soldiers, and 1,000 active-duty Marines.
Additionally, to maintain four Apache battalions in the Army National Guard, the agreement fully funds the modernization of existing Apaches, provides $190 million for five new Apaches and supports the annual operating costs of the four battalions. The agreement also provides funds to maintain a Combat Aviation Brigade in Korea.
Savings and Reductions to President Obama’s Request – The agreement 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: $1.155 billion from lower-than-expected fuel costs; $157 million due to favorable economic conditions; and $4.76 billion in savings from rescissions of unused prior-year funding.
-- For text of the legislation (159 PDF pages), please visit: https://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/03.02.17_Defense_-_FY_2017_Appropriations_Bill.pdf
-- For the Explanatory Statement (350 PDF pages), please visit: https://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/03.02.17_Defense_-_FY_2017_Appropriations_Bill_-_Explanatory_Statement.pdf