The House passed the FY2014 DoD Appropriations bill (315-109). The bill (H.R. 3987) provides $512.5 billion for the base DoD budget (except Military Construction, which is funded in a separate bill), $3.4 billion under the request. The House bill provides $82.3 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).
The White House immediately threatened to veto the bill as it has other appropriations bills passed by the House this year. The administration strongly objects to what it considers a rearrangement of federal budget by the House budget plan and urges the House and Senate to agree on an overall budget framework that “enables sufficient investments in education, infrastructure, innovation, and national security” before it acts on any appropriations bill. The Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on the DoD spending bill warns that until such an agreement is reached, the president’s senior advisors would recommend a veto of any bill that implements the House budget plan’s proposals.
The House bill funds a 1.8 percent military pay raise that would be authorized under the House-passed FY2014 Defense Authorization bill. The president’s budget requests a 1 percent pay raise for military personnel. The House bill would ban TRICARE for Life enrollment fees.
Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funding in the bill would total $175 billion, $124 million below the request. The bill includes a $922 million increase for what the committee calls underfunded facility sustainment and modernization.
Procurement funding in the bill totals $98.4 billion, $750 million less than the request. The bill provides $15 billion to build 8 new ships (including two SSN-774 Attack Submarines, one DDG-51, and four Littoral Combat Ships) and funding to buy 29 F-35 and 21 EA-18G aircraft.
The House bill includes $66.4 billion for research and development, $1.1 billion below the president’s request. The bill includes requested funding to continue development of the replacement for the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, a new penetrating bomber, and the Next Generation Aerial Refueling Aircraft, but makes significant funding cuts to development of the Next Generation Jammer (-$100 million) and to continued development of the F-35 aircraft (-$67 million).
The House adopted floor amendments that prohibits furloughing DoD civilian employees in FY2014, including working capital fund employees and dual-status employees (e.g., uniformed National Guard personnel who are federal civilian employees).
The House addressed a number of policy issues in the bill. It voted to prohibit funding in the bill for nuclear arms reductions under New START, reductions to strategic delivery systems, and to buy non-petroleum products in place of petroleum products. But, the House rejected proposals to close the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, cut assistance to Pakistan, and stop the National Security Agency’s (NSA) from collecting data from individuals unless they were being investigated. However, the House did approve language prohibiting spending to target U.S. citizens or storing data on their communications.
The House now awaits Senate action on the FY2014 DoD spending bill. Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) chair Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) announced that the SAC DoD subcommittee will consider the bill on July 30, with full committee action following on August 1 before Congress leaves for the August recess.