Head on over to the Center’s site for my analysis of the fiscal 2013 House Defense Appropriations bill, likely to hit the floor next week.
And for a little preview, check out the excerpt below…
On May 17, the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2013 Defense Appropriations bill by voice vote.
The bill, which may come up on the House floor the week of July 16, provides $519.2 billion in non-war funding, an increase of $1.1 billion over the fiscal year 2012 level and $3.1 billion above the President’s request. The bill also contains $88.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), or war funding. This is a reduction of $26.6 billion compared to the previous year’s level, due to the end of the war in Iraq and a drawdown of forces in Afghanistan.
The legislation does not cover military construction or Department of Energy nuclear weapons programs, both which are included in separate appropriations bills.
The Obama administration has threatened to veto the bill because it exceeds the caps mandated by the Budget Control Act (BCA).
“By adding unrequested funding for defense, the House of Representatives departs from the bipartisan understanding reached a year ago,” the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a June 28 statement.
The excessive spending set forth in the House bill is part of a larger budget plan crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan. In Ryan’s plan, extra spending on Defense would be paid for by deeper cuts to non-Defense discretionary spending. To pass a defense bill at this level of funding “would mean that when the Congress constructs other appropriations bills, it would necessitate significant and harmful cuts to critical national priorities such as education, research and development, job training, and health care,” says OMB.
In addition, the White House objects to provisions within the bill that would, among other concerns, limit the military’s ability to transfer or retire “unneeded aircraft,” including Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk; defund MEADS Medium Extended Air Defense System, a joint program with Italy and Germany; and reverse the Pentagon’s proposed TRICARE health care fee hikes.
Remember, read the rest here.