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Senate Defense Appropriations Bill Highlights September 10, 2009

Posted by Trice Kabundi in Analysis.
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The full Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on the FY 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill today. The Obama Administration requested a total of $550.2 billion in baseline defense and Department of Energy defense activities funding. The Senate bill authorized $551.5 billion, which was $864.8 million dollars more than the Obama Administration’s request. The Senate bill authorized $129.3 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which is $700 million less than the House bill.

The Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee increased new discretionary authority by $636.3 billion and increased OCO funding by $128.2 billion. Their recommendation is $3.9 billion less than the Administration’s request. Below are noticeable changes to the Obama request:

–   Gate’s request to increase the size of the army by 22,000 was accepted by the Subcommittee. There are short-term and long-term costs associated with the increase, specifically in operation and maintenance budgeting, which will be augmented by the recruitment of new service members. It is estimated that the cost of processing, pay, benefits and other associated expenses will be an estimated $100,000 per new service member.

–   The Senate added $2.5 billion for 10 C-17s, seven more C-17s than the House’s authorization and ten more than the President’s request. Congress has continued to fund the program, despite efforts by both the Bush and Obama administrations to end production of C-17s.

–   $1.7 billion was added to the President’s request of $2.2 billion for the purchase of an additional DDG-51 Destroyer. The restarted program has been affected by delayed production and increased costs that have exceeded budgetary allocations. The additional funding recommendation, however, is provided with an understanding that the producers of the DDG-51 must meet set deadlines and procurement dates.

–   The recommendation for no funding for the Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine is a change from the $438.9 million originally authorized by the Senate. The engine has been subject to continuous debate between those who argue that there is a need for second source engines and others who find no benefit in the continuance of funding for the engines. President Obama has threatened to veto any bill containing funding for the Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine. While the Senate recommendation contains no funding, the House Armed Services Committee has recommended $560 million for the program.

–   The Senate added an additional nine F/A-18 E/F aircraft to OCO funding, which brings the total request to 27 aircraft. This is 18 more than the request.  The administration proposed a change in criteria utilized for the inclusion of items in supplemental funding, which only allows aircraft to be included if replacing combat lost aircraft. This recommendation does not fall in line with the administration’s proposed change.

–   An additional $1.2 billion was provided in OCO funding for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected- All Terrain Vehicles, which would bring the combined baseline and OCO funding to a total of $7.9 billion.  This exceeds Obama’s request by $2.4 billion, and is a possible indication that the condition in Afghanistan is deepening and more equipment is needed to counter improvised explosive devices.



1. geogen10 - September 13, 2009

Man, the whole F/A-18 E/F/G line item funding is so confusing based on the ‘brief summary’. I’m still foggy on it. Any others? I thought DoD wanted 30 F/A-18EFG in total? The Senate summary says ‘9 additional’ F/A-18E/F. Is that 9 added to another 9 admin-requested F/A-18E/F? Or has Admin dropped that original request for 9E/F, so Senate is now only supporting 9 in total? My impression, I thought, was that Senate was supporting 22 G models + 9 E/F + 9 additional E/F = 40 total?? Or is that just the House’s figure..

Also, I’m curious what ‘Fully funding F-35 procurement’ means in actual, confirmed procurement units. 30 units is confirmed?

Further, I wish they included R&D funding for F-35 in the summary. Is it more than request? Or as requested? Thanks for any reply/insight..

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