House Appropriations Committee approves FY2012 DoD Appropriations bill

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House Appropriations Committee approves FY2012 DoD Appropriations bill

The House Appropriations Committee (HAC) yesterday approved the FY2012 DoD Appropriations bill.  The HAC accepted 13 amendments to the bill recommended by the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee (HAC-D), none of which affected overall funding levels in the HAC-D bill.  Two amendments, offered by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), affected DoD contacting.  One amendment prohibits contracts or agreements with entities with unpaid Federal tax liabilities that have not agreed to payment plans to settle the liability.  The other would prohibit the government from entering into contracts or agreements with any corporation convicted of a felony criminal violation under Federal law during the preceding 24 months.

The HAC bill provides $530 billion for DoD (excluding Military Construction), almost $9 billion below the president’s request, and $118.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) in FY2012, more than $800 million above the request.

The bill funds a 1.6 percent military pay raise proposed by the president and authorized in the House version of the FY2012 Defense Authorization bill.  The HAC bill would also provide $32.3 billion for Defense Health programs ($119 million above the request) and $2.3 billion for family support programs.

Funding in the bill for Operations and Maintenance (O&M) programs would be almost $800 million below the request, but the committee report highlights funding support for operational training programs, flight operations, training, maintenance, and base operations.

The HAC bill would provide $107.6 billion for procurement, a $3.5 billion cut from the request.  The bill includes funding for 10 new ships, 32 F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) and 28 F/A-18E/F aircraft, 11 C-130J aircraft, 71 H-60 Blackhawk and 47 Chinook helicopters, 36 MQ-1, 3 Global Hawk, and 48 MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and 88 PAC-3 missiles.  Major program funding cuts by the HAC include $435 million to the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) due to production delays and $524 million to the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMAARS) due to program delays. 

The HAC bill does not include funding for an F-35 (JSF) alternative engine program.  This is contrary to the House-passed FY2012 Defense Authorization bill, which would reopen competition for the engine if DoD asks Congress for more funds because the contractor failed to meet performance goals.

Research and development funding in the bill would be $73 billion, $2.3 billion below the request.  Major R&D program funding in the bill includes:  requested funding to replace the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine and Space Based Infrared Satellite system; funding increases for the Multi-Mission Maritime aircraft, and the new penetrating bomber; and funding decreases to the Manned Ground Combat Vehicle, Joint Tactical Radio System, and the Medium Extended Air Defense System.

The bill includes a number of general reductions that, according to the committee, would not affect the safety or success of mission operations.  These include $500 million for unjustified supply increases, $400 million for logistic support contract savings, $1.3 billion due to improved  economic assumptions, and $1.7 billion in rescissions to prior year programs.

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