By Rebekah Johansen Today, the House Appropriations Committee released its subcommittee draft of the Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015. It will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation accounts for $491 billion in discretionary funding, over $4 billion above the FY2014 enacted level — and $200 above what President Obama had requested. The bill also included $79.4 billion to the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget, which is the same level the President requested and the House recently passed in the National Defense Authorization Act. Some key points of the bill include the following: Bill Highlights:
- $165 billion for operation and maintenance. This is $4.8 billion above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, and it will support readiness programs, flight time and battle training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations. The bill also funds Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs at $275 million, an increase of $50 million above 2014′s enacted level.
- $128.1 billion for military personnel and pay – The legislation provides for 1,308,600 active-duty troops and 820,800 Guard and reserve troops. This level is $669 million under 2014′s enacted level, but it authorizes an 1.8% pay raise for the military, instead of 1% as requested by the President.
- $63.4 billion for research and development – This figure is $368 million above 2014′s level and $171 million below the President’s request – for research, development, testing, and evaluation of new defense technologies.More specifically, this money will go to support research and development of the (notoriously failed and wasteful) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, as well as various other weapons development programs.
- $91.2 billion for Equipment Procurement – The figure is $1.6 billion below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $1.6 billion above the President’s request and will go to equipment and upgrades.
- $31.6 billion for Defense health and military family programs – The funding level is $1.1 billion below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $360 million below the President’s request.