The Senate Appropriations (SAC) approved the FY2011 DoD Appropriations bill this week.  The SAC bill provides $523 billion for the DoD base budget (excluding Overseas Contingency Operations), $8 billion less than the president requested.  The House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee (HAC-D) has proposed a bill that reduces the president’s request by $7 billion, but has not completed full committee action.  Complete details of the SAC bill are not yet available, but a Committee press release highlighted funding increases for:  National Guard equipment (+$500 million); the Defense Health Program (+$600 million); Army Helicopters procurement (+12 UH-60s and +6 CH-47s); and tuition for military spouses (+$162 million).  In a major difference with the House Subcommittee bill, the SAC cut F-35 procurement by 10 planes (funding only 32) and cut 1 Littoral Combat Ship from the administration’s request of 2 ships.   The SAC did avoid a confrontation with the president by not adding funding for the F-35 alternative engine program or any new C-17s.  Secretary Gates has said that he would recommend that the president veto the bill if it contained funding for these programs.  In separate funding for Overseas Contingency Operations, the bill provides $157.7 billion, $250 million less than the request.  Senate leaders hope to move the bill to the floor soon with the hope that the DoD bill can be one appropriations bill finished before the election recess.