by Christopher Hellman
On June 11, House and Senate conferees approved a $105.9 billion emergency supplemental appropriations bill for the latter part of Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, which ends on September 30. The bill includes $79.9 billion for the Department of Defense, primarily to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As part of their work on the administration’s original $75.5 billion request, members of Congress provided nearly $7 billion in “add-ons” or funds not sought by the Pentagon.
Much of this additional funding is being included as part of the supplemental because these programs are controversial and might not otherwise be funded through the normal budget process. One obvious example is the $2.17 billion included for the purchase of C-17 aircraft – a program whose termination was announced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in April.
In some cases, these additions appear reasonable on their surface. Take, for example, the $488 million added to modernize U.S. military hospitals. The question remains, however, why this funding is being included in an “emergency” spending package, rather than through the normal annual budget process.
|C-17 Transport–Procure Eight Aircraft||2,170.2||Air Force||House|
|Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP)—All Terrain Variant||1,850.0||N/A||Both|
|C-130J Transport– Procure three MC-130J and four HC-130J aircraft||504||Air Force||House|
|National Guard & Reserve Equipment||500||N/A||Both|
|Hospital construction to update older facilities (Military Construction)||488||N/A||N/A|
|Conversion of one Army National Guard AH-64A helicopter battalion to D model aircraft||342.7||Army||House|
|Bradley Fighting Vehicle Reset requirements||243.6||Army||House|
|Procure additional Stryker vehicles||200||Army||House|
|155MM Lightweight Towed Howitzer—Unfunded requirement||117||Marine Corps||Senate|
|UH-1Y/AH-1Z helicopters–Four additional combat loss replacement aircraft||100||Navy/Marines||House|
|Tactical Unmanned Aerial System—Quick Reaction Capability Fund multi-band receivers||80||Army||Both|
|Link 16 Support & Sustainment—Interim Gateway/Battlefield Airborne Communication Node (RDT&E)||61||Air Force||Senate|
|Unit Operations Center–OEF UUNS||53.2||Marine Corps||Senate|
|P-3 “Orion” aircraft series||50.2||Navy||Both|
|One additional CH-47 helicopter||30||Army||House|
|Manned Reconnaissance Systems –“Saber Focus” (RDT&E)||26.7||Navy||Senate|
|Lightweight Mine Rollers||22.5||Marine Corps||Senate|
|Afghan ISR infrastructure||12.8||Air Force||Senate|
|Amphibious Support Equipment–Unfunded Requirement||11||Marine Corps||Senate|
Table Notes: This is not a complete list, but represents those items identified to date. All programs shown are procurement programs unless otherwise indicated. “$Millions” is the amount added by Congress. “Service” is the branch of the military which operates the system. “Origin” is the house of Congress which added the funding; House, Senate, or Both (i.e. both houses included unrequested funds).