Monday, July 11, 2011

House Passes Budget, Senate Next

AUSA reports that after three days of debate, the House passed a $649.2 billion defense spending bill (H.R. 2219) for federal fiscal 2012 (October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012). The bill passed 336-87.

The bill would provide $530.5 billion for the Pentagon, which is $8.9 billion less than President Obama requested but $17 billion more than fiscal 2011 levels. It also includes $118.7 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is approximately $40 billion less than current funding.

Some highlights of the bill include:
  • Funding for a 1.6% military pay raise
  • $32.2 billion for the Defense Health Program
  • $5.9 billion to purchase 32 F-35 jets
  • $453 million for production of the M1A2 SEP Abrams tank
  • Approximately $10 billion for missile defense programs
An amendment that would prohibit prisoners currently held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, from being transferred to the United States was adopted as well as one that would prohibit the use of funds to implement a training curriculum for military chaplains related to the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The House also adopted a series of amendments aimed at boosting spending for research on post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, prostate cancer and illnesses affecting veterans of the first Gulf War.

Because the Senate is still holding hearings related to their version of the defense spending bill, since it has not adopted a fiscal 2012 budget resolution that would set top-line spending limits, the House's work will remain on hold.

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