Before leaving for the Memorial Day recess, the subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) finished marking up the FY2014 Defense Authorization bill.
While full details of the subcommittees’ actions have not been released, each subcommittee issued a press release that identifies legislative proposals included in the marks. Many of these proposals reject administration plans in the budget request that would save billions of dollars, according to DoD justification.
The Military Personnel Subcommittee proposes to provide military personnel with a 1.8 percent pay raise, almost twice the 1 percent raise requested in the president’s budget. The subcommittee would reject DoD’s proposal to increase TRICARE Prime enrollment fees, pharmacy co-pays, and set an enrollment fee for TRICARE for Life and TRICARE Standard. Last year, Congress rejected most of DoD’s FY2013 proposals to reduce TRICARE costs by increasing fees.
The Readiness Subcommittee markup proposes to prohibit DoD from planning or initiating another Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) round in 2015. In the FY2013 budget DoD proposed a BRAC round for 2014, but backed away from that proposal in the face of strong congressional objections. The subcommittee also proposes to reject the Navy’s plan to retire seven cruisers and two amphibious ships.
The Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee markup proposes to stop DoD from retiring Global Hawk block 30 unmanned aircraft. Subcommittee legislative language would require the Air Force to maintain operational capability through 2016. The mark would also prohibit the Army from funding the next development stage of the Ground Combat Vehicle until Congress receives a status report on the program.
The Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee would authorize funding to modernize seven cruisers and two amphibious ships to keep them in the fleet.
The full committee is scheduled to take up the complete FY2014 Defense Authorization bill on June 5.