House Appropriators Release Draft FY2014 Defense Bill, Markup Tomorrow – update

House Appropriators Release Draft FY2014 Defense Bill, Markup Tomorrow – update

UPDATE:  June 6, 2013, 8:40 am ET:   HAC-D made quick work of its markup on June 5, approving the draft by unanimous consent in about an hour.   Full committee markup has not yet been scheduled.   HASC took much longer, beginning its markup at 10:00 am on June 5 and finishing at 2:14 am June 6.

ORIGINAL STORY:  June 4, 2013:  Yesterday the House committee that authorizes defense programs and recommends funding levels released its draft bill for FY2014.  Today it’s the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee’s (HAC-D’s) turn.   Both will markup their bills tomorrow, June 5.

Appropriators are the ones who actually decide on how much money federal government departments and agencies get to spend.  Authorizers set policy and recommend funding levels, but appropriators are not bound to follow those funding recommendations.

Yesterday, the authorizing House Armed Services Committee (HASC) recommended $526.6 billion for DOD’s base budget plus $85.8 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO, e.g. the war in the Afghanistan).   The President’s request is $526.6 billion for the base budget and $79.4 billion for OCO.

HAC-D would provide the same amount of funding for OCO as HASC ($85.8 billion) plus $512.5 billion for “non-war” spending, a term that apparently refers to a different subset of DOD funding than the base budget because HAC-D says that is $3.4 billion less than the President’s request.  The committee’s press release goes on to say the non-war spending level is $5.1 billion less than the FY2013 enacted level or $28.1 billion more than the enacted level after it is adjusted for sequestration.

The FY2014 President’s request, HASC and HAC-D funding levels all ignore sequestration even though no progress has been made to reverse it.  Sequestration, which requires significant cuts to federal spending through FY2021, is part of the 2011 Budget Control Act and therefore is the law of the land.

The HAC-D draft bill does not provide specifics on how it would affect national security space programs and the committee’s press release does not single out space activities for attention. 

The HAC-D markup tomorrow begins at 11:00 am ET, but is closed to the public. The HASC markup is open and will be webcast on the committee’s website beginning at 10:00 am ET.


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