The House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee (HAC-D) marked up the FY2013 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations bill last week.  According to the committee press release, the bill provides $519 billion for DoD (excluding Military Construction), $3 billion above the president’s request. 

The HAC-D bill also provides $88.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) in FY2013, the amount requested by the administration.

HAC-D chair Rep. Bill Young said the bill was prepared “in a true bipartisan way to provide the much-needed resources to modernize and maintain readiness at the levels required to preserve our nation’s standing as the most capable and superior armed forces in the world.”

The bill, described in the HAC press release, funds a 1.7 percent military pay raise proposed by the president and authorized in the House Armed Services Committee version of the FY2013 Defense Authorization bill.  The bill would also provide $35.1 billion for Defense Health programs ($348 million above the request) and $2.3 billion for family support programs.

Funding for Operations and Maintenance (O&M) programs would be $175.2 billion (more than $200 million above the request) for “key readiness programs,” flight operations, training, maintenance, and base operations.  The bill adds funds to reverse the administration’s proposal to retire 18 Global Hawk Block 30 UAVs and to halt the plan to retire Guard and Reserve aircraft until GAO completes a cost-benefit analysis of the plan.

The HAC-D bill would provide $102.5 billion, almost $900 million more than the request, for procurement programs.  Included in the bill’s recommended procurement amount are funds to build 11 new ships, 29 F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) and 37 F/A -18E/F aircraft, and 69 UH-60 Blackhawk and 42 MH-60 S/R helicopters.  The HAC-D proposes $2 billion for National Guard and Reserve Equipment account and adds funds to retain and modernize three of the four Navy cruisers the administration proposed to retire.

Funding for research and development in the bill would be $70 billion, about $600 million above the request.  The committee highlights R&D funding in the bill to develop a new bomber, the KC-46A tanker program, the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV, the Navy Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, and the Army and Marine Corps Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. 

While the committee lists few specific cuts to the request, the press release identifies a number of reductions that, according to the committee, would not adversely affect the safety of success of mission operations.  These include:  $2.6 billion in excess funding for the Army Working Capital Fund; $500 million savings from Marine Corps logistics due to lower force levels $400 million from terminating the Medium Extended Air Defense System; and $1.6 billion in rescissions to prior year programs. 

In a move that certainly will draw administration scrutiny, the HAC-D bill includes language from the FY2012 bill that prohibits funding to transfer Guantanamo detainees or modify facilities in the U.S. to house detainees.

The full Committee is scheduled to take up the bill this week.