Department of Defense Appropriations Bill
The Department of Defense Appropriations bill provides $490.9 billion in discretionary budget authority for the base operations of the Defense Department and $79.4 billion for the conduct of the global war on terrorism. Additionally there is $514 million in appropriated entitlement spending for the CIA Retirement and Disability fund. The funding in the bill is 0.3% below the FY 2014 level and is slightly higher than the President’s request.
The spending level in the bill does not exceed the 302(b) allocations adopted by the Appropriations Committee, which are in aggregate within the overall spending level approved by the House in the Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res. 96) and the Bipartisan Budget Act.
This measure provides the overwhelming majority of the funding for the Department of Defense’s military activities with the remaining funding provided in the Military Construction-VA (for military construction and family housing) appropriations bill. Key activities funded in this bill include:
Military Personnel. The military personnel accounts provide funding for compensation costs of the uniformed military, including basic, incentive, and special pays for active duty, reserve, and National Guard personnel; accrual payments for future retirees health and pension benefits; housing, subsistence, and other allowances; recruitment and retention initiatives; permanent change of station costs; and other ancillary benefits. The bill provides $135.9 billion for these accounts which is $51 million below the President’s request and approximately $185 million below the FY 2014 enacted levels but is sufficient based on reductions to force structure and large unexpended balances. The bill also provides for a 1.8% pay raise, higher than the President’s proposed 1% increase, for military personnel and provides enough funding to maintain 100% of troop housing costs.
Operations & Maintenance. The operation and maintenance accounts include funding for the daily operations of the Department of Defense. This includes funding for DOD civilians, the majority of funding for the defense health program, maintenance of equipment, and fuel, supplies, and spare parts for weapons and equipment. Funding for these accounts is 2.9% above FY 2014 level and approximately 0.2% or $427 million below the President’s request. The bill provides additional funds to fill readiness shortfalls as well as fully funding the Tuition Assistance program.
Procurement. The procurement accounts provide funding for the acquisition of vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and other equipment. These accounts provide for the recapitalization and modernization of the armed forces, as opposed to the replacement of combat losses or procurement of equipment specifically designed or needed for prosecution of the global war on terrorism. The bill provides $91.3 billion, which is 1.3% below FY 2014 levels and 1.0% above the President’s request.
Research, Development, Test & Evaluation [RDT&E]. Together with the procurement accounts, these accounts are known as DOD’s “investment” budget, because they constitute the programs that eventually result in new capabilities for the Department of Defense. The bill provides $63.2 billion, 0.7% or $418 million above FY 2014 levels and 0.5% below the President’s request.
Intelligence Community. The bill provides $501 million for the Intelligence Community Management Account, which is 5.1% below 2014 levels and 1.8% below the President’s request. The bill also provides a classified level of funding for the National Intelligence Program and the Military Intelligence Program. This classified funding is included in the total spending level in the bill.
Global War on Terrorism. The budget resolution provided a separate allocation for the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The bill provides $79.4 billion, 6.7% below 2014 levels and equal to the President’s request and the level assumed in the National Defense Authorization Act, for the incremental costs to the Department of Defense for prosecuting the Global War on Terrorism. Because of delays in concluding a new Bilateral Security Agreement with the Government of Afghanistan, this level is expected to fall based on an amended GWOT request to be submitted by the President in the coming months. The bill provides that not more than 15 percent of the funding provided for GWOT may be obligated by DOD until Congress has been provided a detailed spending plan.