The House and Senate approved and the president signed the final FY2011 appropriations bill. The bill puts into place a deal reached by House and Senate leaders and the president last Friday that ended 14 months of deliberation on the FY2011 the budget request that was submitted in February 2010.
The “Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011” (H.R. 1473) includes a separate DoD appropriations bill and funds all other federal agencies. It appropriates a total of $1.049 trillion, about $79 billion lower than the president’s FY2011 request and almost $40 billion less than the amount enacted for FY2010.
The bill provides $513 billion in FY2011 appropriations for Department of Defense base budget accounts. However, the $513 billion appropriated for DoD (excluding Military Construction) in Section A of the bill is about $18 billion lower than the president’s request, much less than Secretary Gates said he needed.
The DoD bill funds a 1.4 percent military pay raise authorized in the FY2011 Defense Authorization bill signed by the president in January. It funds Operations and Maintenance (O&M) appropriations at $165.6 billion, $2.3 billion below the request. However, O&M accounts are further reduced by another $2.5 billion in across-the-board cuts for excess cash in the working capital funds and revised economic assumptions. Procurement accounts are funded at $102 billion, $9 billion below the request, with another $560 million in across-the-board cuts for revised economic assumptions. Research and Development accounts funding totals $75 billion, $1.2 billion less than the request, and are further cut by $400 million for revised economic assumptions. Because Congress approved the president’s proposal to freeze civilian pay raises in previous legislation, the bill cuts $723 million from relevant DoD accounts (primarily O&M).
Some major program cuts in the bill included: $2.2 billion from the F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) program due to delays in production and testing; $457 million from the Army’s canceled Non-Line of Sight Cannon; $272 million from the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program due to a contract award delay; and $2 billion in cuts to prior year procurement and R&D programs. In a major victory for Secretary Gates, the bill does not provide funds for an alternative engine for the F-35. Gates had repeatedly argued against this program. More details are available on the House and Senate Appropriations Committee sites.
“The Full Year Continuing Appropriations” section of the bill provides $16.6 billion, $2.1 billion less than the request. Requested funding for Service Military Construction projects is cut by $1.3 billion, but the Family Housing construction and operations accounts and the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) accounts are fully funded. Over $800 million is rescinded from prior-year military construction appropriations.
Congress begins a two-week spring recess tomorrow. When it returns, it will turn its attention to the FY2012 budget request submitted in February.