The Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee (SAC-D) marked-up a FY2012 DoD Appropriations bill today that would cut the president’s request by almost $26 billion. The SAC-D bill provides $513 billion for DoD appropriations (excluding military construction, which is provided in a separate appropriations bill the Senate passed in July), in effect freezing DoD appropriations at the FY2011 enacted level. The SAC-D bill also includes $117.6 billion that was requested for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).
The SAC-D’s total funding for the bill is $17 billion less than that provided in the House bill ($530 billion) passed in early July.
In a statement introducing the bill, SAC chair Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) said that while the bill’s amount is much lower than the president requested, it “takes care of our men and women in uniform and their families, fully supports military readiness, protects the forces, and maintains our technological edge.”
Inouye highlighted a number of details in the SAC-D bill. The bill provides funding for a 1.6 percent military pay raise and provides almost $40 billion for the defense health program.
The bill adds $250 million to meet funding shortfalls to upgrade the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (M-RAP) vehicles, $500 million for more National Guard and Reserve equipment, and $240 million to upgrade the Abrams tank. Inouye’s statement also noted that the bill fully funds the amounts requested for basic research and adds funding for important technology programs, including cyber security, nanotechnology, and space.
The SAC-D had to make significant reductions to most areas of the DoD budget to meet the subcommittee’s funding allocation. Inouye described these reductions as fair and prudent and generally made due to “program terminations, schedule delays, program changes since submission of the budget last February, inadequate justification, unaffordable future year costs, or corrections to poor fiscal discipline.”
The SAC-D cut over $10 billion from funds that the subcommittee determined were not needed in FY2012. These cuts included $5 billion in requested funding considered excess due to troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan. $1.6 billion due to overstated requirements for Afghanistan Security Forces, and $1.5 billion in rescissions from prior-year funding that DoD identified for the committee. Funding for the tanker replacement program was reduced by $135 million because the Air Force told the committee the funds could not be spent in FY2012.
The bill proposes to terminate the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program because of excess cost growth and changing requirements. It also refuses to fund a Mobile Landing Platform ship in FY2012, expects the Navy will request a third ship in the FY2013 budget request.
The Senate subcommittee cuts the F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) program by $695 million due to excess development and production concurrency. The Inouye statement stresses the subcommittee’s continued support for the program, but recommends maintaining F-35 production at the 2011 level for the next two years to “limit out year cost growth.”