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H.R. 2219, FY 2012 Defense Department Appropriations Bill

On July 8th, the House passed H.R. 2219--the FY 2012 Defense Department Appropriations Bill--by a vote of 336-87. The bill includes provisions to provide our servicemen and women with the resources and tools they need to do their job.  It was reported out of the Appropriations Committee by voice vote.  The bill provides $530.5 billion for the base budget of the Defense Department in FY 2012 -- $8.9 billion less than the President's request but $17 billion more than the current level.  In addition, the bill provides $118.7 billion in FY 2012 contingency funding for the ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan -- $841 million above the President's request and $39 billion below the current level.  The contingency funding being $39 billion below the FY 2011 level mainly reflects a reduction in costs associated with the drawdown in Iraq.

Key Provisions:

  • Includes Provisions to Support Our Troops and Their Families. The measure contains provisions to support our troops and their families, including providing a pay raise for the troops, strengthening health care services for troops and their families, and providing $2.3 billion for family support and advocacy programs. 
  • Includes Provisions to Protect Our Troops in Harm's Way. The legislation also protects our troops in harm's way, by providing $3.2 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, $2.8 billion for combating Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a total of $453 million, an increase of $272 million above the President's request, for the modernization of M-1 Abrams tanks.   
  • Includes Provisions to Enhance Our Special Operations.  The measure provides additional funding for our Special Operations forces of $239 million above the President's request. 
  • Withholds 75% of Funding for Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund Until DOD Has Completed A Report on Pakistan and Congress Has Reviewed. The bill withholds 75% of the $1.1 billion for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund for FY 2012 until the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, provides Congress with a report on Pakistan.  The report must include a discussion of U.S. strategic objectives in Pakistan, a discussion of gaps in Pakistan's security capabilities in combating terrorist groups, and the metrics that will be used to track progress in achieving U.S. strategic objectives.  Also, under the bill, Congress would have 30 days to review the report before release of the money. 
  • Provides for the Creation of an Independent Afghanistan and Pakistan Commission, Modeled on the Iraq Study Group.  The bill allocates $1 million for the creation of an independent, private commission modeled on the Iraq Study Group to study and make recommendations on the war in Afghanistan and the situation in Pakistan.  The commission is to be made up of individuals with recognized credentials and expertise in military affairs.  The commission's report must be submitted to the President and Congress no later than 120 days after enactment.

Learn more from Appropriations Committee Democrats»

SUMMARY
Giving the Military A Pay Raise

  • Provides all service members a pay raise of 1.6 percent - the level included in the President's request.  Also provides a comparable housing and subsistence raise.

Upgrading Military Health Care

  • Overall, provides $32.3 billion for military health care -- $119 million above the President's request and $935 million above the current level.
  • Provides $125 million above the President's request to continue the efforts to improve treatment and research of traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.
  • Provides $223 million for several peer-reviewed research efforts, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer research.
  • Provides $2.3 billion for family support and advocacy programs.

Ensuring Our Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan Have the Protective Equipment They Need

  • Provides $2.8 billion for measures to counter IED activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Provides $3.2 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.
  • Provides a total of $453 million, including an increase of $272 million above the President's request, for upgrading M-1 Abrams tanks.

Enhancing Our Special Operations

  • Provides additional funding for Special Operations - providing $239 million more than the President's request for Special Operations.

Ensuring Guard and Reserve Have Appropriate Equipment

  • Provides $1.5 billion in funds unrequested by the President for the National Guard and Reserve to meet urgent equipment needs that may arise in FY 2012.  The committee notes that the National Guard and Reserve forces traditionally received less than a proportionate share of funding for their equipment needs.  It also notes that the funding will allow the Guard and Reserve components to procure high-priority equipment that may be used by these units for both their combat missions and their missions in support of state governors.   

Pakistan and Afghanistan

  • Withholds 75% of the $1.1 billion for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund for FY 2012 until the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, provides Congress with a report on Pakistan.  The report must include a discussion of U.S. strategic objectives in Pakistan, a discussion of gaps in Pakistan's security capabilities in combating terrorist groups, and the metrics that will be used to track progress in achieving U.S. strategic objectives.  Also, under the bill, Congress would have 30 days to review the report before release of the money.
  • Allocates $1 million for the creation of an independent, private commission modeled on the Iraq Study Group to study and make recommendations on the war in Afghanistan and the situation in Pakistan.  The commission is to be made up of individuals with recognized credentials and expertise in military affairs.  The commission's report must be submitted to the President and Congress no later than 120 days after enactment.
  • Provides $12.8 billion to train and equip Afghanistan's security forces, as requested by the President.  The total includes $7.1 billion for the Afghan National Army and $5.7 billion for the Afghan National Police.

Aircraft

  • Provides $5.9 billion to buy 32 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, equal to the President's request.  The bill does not provide funds for an alternative engine for the aircraft, which received no funds last year and is opposed by the Administration.  
  • Provides $2.3 billion for 28 F/A-18/E/F Super Hornets, and $1 billion for 12 EA-18G Growler electronic warfare planes.
  • Provides $2.5 billion for 35 V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
  • Provides $1.1 billion for 11 C-130 transport aircraft.

Shipbuilding

  • Overall provides $15.1 billion for 10 new major Navy vessels.
  • Provides $4.7 billion for two Virginia-class attack submarines, which would replace retiring Los Angeles-class submarines and would constitute the bulk of the future attack submarine force.
  • Provides $2 billion for one DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
  • Provides $1.8 billion for four Littoral (coastal) Combat Ships.  The vessel is a small, specialized variant of the DDG family of future surface-combat ships.

Other Provisions

  • Provides that none of the funds in the bill may be used to support any training program involving a unit of security forces in another country if the Secretary of Defense has received credible evidence from the Department of State that the unit has committed a gross violation of human rights, unless all necessary corrective steps have been taken.  The Secretary of Defense, after consultation with the Secretary of State, may waive the prohibition if he determines that such a waiver is required by extraordinary circumstances.
  • Prohibits funding for transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. or its territories, prohibits funding to modify any facility in the United States to house detainees, and places conditions on the release of detainees to other countries.
  • Provides approximately $10 billion for missile defense programs - including funding for the initial deployment of a national missile defense system based in Alaska and California, and the Obama Administration's new plan for missile defense in Europe.  The measure also appropriates $236 million for cooperative missile defense programs with Israel, $130 million more than requested.
  • Provides $508 million for the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, known as Nunn-Lugar, to assist in the denuclearization and demilitarization of the states of the former Soviet Union.  The total is equal to the President's request.