House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement today on the release of the President’s budget blueprint:
"Our Committee will take a close look at the budget and supplemental requests we received today. As directed under the Constitution, Congress has the power of the purse. While the President may offer proposals, Congress must review both requests to assure the wise investment of taxpayer dollars.
"Over the next several weeks, our Committee will work quickly to complete the 2017 Appropriations bills, analyze and make decisions on supplemental funding for national and border security, and begin the task of funding the federal government for 2018.
"I'm optimistic that we can strike a balance that will enable us to fund the federal government responsibly and address emergency needs, while ensuring this legislation will clear the Congress.”
The Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), has met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to discuss the State Department's funding challenges and opportunities for the next fiscal year. Chairman Rogers made the following statement on the meeting:
"In meeting with Secretary Tillerson, I was impressed by his experience and leadership. We agree that investment in important international diplomatic and security programs is essential to encouraging peace and stability in critical areas around the globe and to our safety here at home. The United States has a vital role to play in advancing democracy, protecting the innocent, and offering diplomatic solutions to crisis, unrest, violence and economic challenges. We stand side by side in our commitment to supporting important programs and activities that advance these goals.
"We need an aggressive plan to fight ISIS and any other enemy that wishes us harm. Secretary Tillerson and I agree that this requires a comprehensive approach, including not just military engagement, but also the full and responsible use of all diplomatic tools at our disposal. While the full budget picture has yet to emerge, we intend to work closely together over the next cycle to ensure that the necessary resources are available to fulfill these goals."Read More
The House today passed the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill on a vote of 371-48. The bill will now head to the Senate for approval.
The bill closely reflects the Defense Appropriations bill the House passed last summer, and is consistent with the final National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017. The legislation funds critical national security needs, including military operations and readiness programs, as well as health and quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families.
In total, the bill provides $577.9 billion, an increase of $5.2 billion over the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $1.6 billion more than the Obama Administration’s request. This includes $516.1 billion in base discretionary funding – an increase of $2 billion above current levels – and $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding – $3.2 billion above current levels. When combined with the $5.8 billion in supplemental funding enacted in the December Continuing Resolution, total Defense funding for fiscal year 2017 is $583.7 billion, an increase of $10.9 billion over fiscal year 2016. The agreement also fully funds the authorized 2.1 percent pay raise for the military.
“Our nation faces dangerous, unpredictable threats across the world – as well as a readiness crisis within our military at a time we can ill-afford it. We must rebuild our military to address this crisis and to tackle these threats – and that starts with this bill,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “I applaud the House for passing this important, bipartisan legislation today.”
For a bill summary, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394777
For text of the legislation, please visit: https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.02.17_defense_-_fy_2017_appropriations_bill.pdf
For the Explanatory Statement, please visit: https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.02.17_defense_-_fy_2017_appropriations_bill_-_explanatory_statement.pdf
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present H.R. 1301, the Defense Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017.
In total, this bill provides $577.9 billion in funding for the Department of Defense - $516.1 billion in base discretionary funding, and $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations and Global War on Terrorism funding. When combined with the funding provided in the continuing resolution supplemental enacted in December, total Defense funding for FY17 equals $584 billion – consistent with the topline provided in the National Defense Authorization Act, and $10.9 billion more than fiscal year 2016 levels.
My Colleagues, strengthening our national security and rebuilding our military starts today - with this agreement - the first step after years of cut-backs.
Our Armed Forces and Intelligence Community are currently operating under a Continuing Resolution – which denies them stability and predictability, both of which they have not had. H.R. 1301 provides that stability – removing Defense funding from C.R. autopilot, preventing further damage to our national defense and providing additional support for our men and women in uniform, and their families.
Our troops serve with honor in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, South Korea, Japan, across the Baltics, the Sinai, Africa – on the ground, in the air, aboard ships across the globe.
Mr. Speaker, this agreement rejects the troop reductions proposed by the previous Administration, providing for increased end-strength levels authorized by the NDAA – 1.3 million active-duty troops and 813,000 National Guard and Reserve troops, all of whom work as one “team.”
Our bill also fully funds the authorized 2.1% pay raise and provides increased funding for Defense Health Programs to ensure full care for warfighters, their families, and military retirees.
This agreement also ensures that our Armed Forces have the training and equipment they need to conduct successful missions. Funding is increased for key readiness programs that prepare and train our troops and that modernize essential military installations. It reverses the previous Administration’s cuts to procurement, providing for additional production of state-of-the-art aircraft and ships.
In addition, we enhance cyber and ISR programs – capabilities our combatant commanders badly need.
This legislation reflects Congressional priorities. We took into account the views of each and every Member who worked with us throughout the process. This is a bipartisan, bicameral agreement that deserves the support of this House.
I would like to thank Chairwoman Kay Granger for her efforts in bringing this bill to the floor today, and for taking over the leadership of the Defense Subcommittee in January. I would also like to thank the Subcommittee’s Ranking Member, Pete Visclosky, for his contributions to the bill. He has been an excellent partner throughout this process, and I’m grateful for our strong working relationship. In addition, I commend Nita Lowey, the Ranking Member of the Full Committee, for her partnership and commitment to completing our Appropriations work.
Lastly, I want to thank the staff of the Defense Subcommittee – both minority and majority – as well as our personal offices and the full Appropriations Committee for their tireless work putting this bill together. In particular, I would like to acknowledge Will Smith and David Pomerantz – the outgoing staff directors for the Appropriations Committee majority and minority. Both have made immeasurable contributions to this Appropriations Committee and this institution, and we are indebted for their service. We thank you and we wish you the best.
Mr. Speaker, today, our nation faces a dangerous, and unpredictable world. At the same time, our Armed Forces are struggling to have our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines fully trained and ready to meet every conceivable threat. That important work starts with this bill.
I urge support of the agreement and reserve the balance of my time.
House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen today named the Vice Chairs of the 12 Appropriations subcommittees for the 115th Congress.
“The Vice Chairs of the Appropriations subcommittees are essential to the work of the Committee. It is our job to fund the federal government responsibly, weed out waste and duplication, conduct strong oversight, and invest in good programs that the American people rely on. These Vice Chairs will play a critical role in assisting their Chairmen and women with this task, and serve at their right hands to help bring our Appropriations bills to completion,” Chairman Frelinghuysen said.
The Vice Chairs are as follows:
Agriculture Subcommittee: Rep. David Valadao (CA)
Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee: Rep. Evan Jenkins (WV)
Defense Subcommittee: Rep. Ken Calvert (CA)
Energy and Water Subcommittee: Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (TN)
Financial Services Subcommittee: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA)
Homeland Security Subcommittee: Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS)
Interior Subcommittee: Rep. Chris Stewart (UT)
Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee: Rep. Steve Womack (AR)
Legislative Branch Subcommittee: Rep. Mark Amodei (NV)
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee: Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE)
State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee: Rep. Tom Rooney (FL)
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee: Rep. David Joyce (OH)
The House Appropriations Committee today introduced the final version of the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill, which will be considered on the House floor next week. The bill closely reflects the Defense Appropriations bill the House passed last summer, and is consistent with the final National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017. The legislation funds critical national security needs, including military operations and readiness programs, as well as health and quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families.
In total, the bill provides $577.9 billion, an increase of $5.2 billion over the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $1.6 billion more than the Obama Administration’s request. This includes $516.1 billion in base discretionary funding – an increase of $2 billion above current levels – and $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding – $3.2 billion above current levels. When combined with the $5.8 billion in supplemental funding enacted in the Continuing Resolution that passed in December, the total Defense funding for fiscal year 2017 is $583.7 billion, an increase of $10.9 billion over fiscal year 2016.
“The singular most important duty of Congress is to provide for our nation’s defense, and the rebuilding of our nation’s military starts with this bill. This legislation provides responsible funding to ensure that our troops have the resources they need to remain the very best in the world, and to fulfill the mission of protecting our country and our way of life,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “Enacting this essential legislation into law is paramount to our security.”
“The United States is facing unprecedented threats at home and abroad. From radical Islamic terrorism to resurgent adversaries testing American leadership and resolve, we must ensure we have the strongest, most effective military to keep us safe,” Defense Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger said. “I am proud this bill provides for our national security by starting to rebuild our military to make it stronger than ever. These resources are critical to improving readiness and addressing the needs of our men and women in uniform.”
Military Personnel and Pay – The agreement includes $132.1 billion – $128.7 billion for base requirements and $3.4 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – to provide for 1,305,900 active-duty troops and 813,200 Guard and Reserve troops. The agreement includes $1.6 billion above the request for increased end strength, to include military personnel and operational support costs. The agreement denies the troop reductions proposed in the previous Administration’s fiscal year 2017 budget request. The agreement also fully funds the authorized 2.1 percent pay raise for the military, instead of 1.6 percent as requested by the previous Administration.
Operation and Maintenance – Included in the legislation is $215.3 billion – $167.6 billion for base requirements and $47.7 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – for operation and maintenance. In total this is $1.7 billion above fiscal year 2016. This funding supports key readiness programs to prepare our troops for combat and peacetime missions, including flight time and training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations.
Within this amount, the agreement includes an additional $1.9 billion above the request to fill readiness shortfalls, invest in facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization programs, provide for additional depot maintenance, and support increased end strength. This funding will help rebuild our forces to ensure our troops have the training and equipment they need to sustain our military superiority.
Research and Development – The agreement contains $72.7 billion – $72.3 billion for base requirements and $407 million for OCO/GWOT requirements – for research, development, testing, and evaluation of new defense technologies. Funding for base requirements is $2.5 billion above the fiscal year 2016 level, and will help to advance the safety and success of current and future military operations and prepare our nation to meet a broad range of future security threats.
Specifically, this funding will support research and development of: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; the GPS III operational control and space segments; the new Air Force bomber program; a next-generation JSTARS aircraft; the RQ-4 Triton Unmanned Aerial Vehicle; the Ohio-class submarine replacement; and other important research and development activities.
Equipment Procurement – The legislation provides a total of $117.8 billion – $108.4 billion for base requirements and $9.4 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – for equipment and upgrades. Funding for base and GWOT requirements is $6.8 billion above the previous Administration’s request and $2.4 billion below fiscal year 2016. These funds support our nation’s military readiness by providing the necessary platforms, weapons, and other equipment our military needs to train, maintain the force, and conduct successful operations.
For example, the agreement includes: $21.2 billion to procure 13 Navy ships, including three DDG-51 guided missile destroyers, three Littoral Combat Ships, one LPD-17, and advance procurement for the polar icebreaker recapitalization project; $8.2 billion for 74 F-35 aircraft; $1.1 billion for 14 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft; $1.1 billion for 61 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters; $774 million for 52 remanufactured AH-64 Apache helicopters, $190 million for 5 new Apaches, and $72 million to support advanced procurement needs for an additional 10 aircraft; $187 million for 28 Lakota light utility helicopters; an additional $114 million to equip two more brigades with WIN-T; $1.8 billion for 11 P-8A Poseidon aircraft; $2.6 billion for 15 KC-46 tanker aircraft; $1.3 billion for 17 C/HC/KC/MC-130J aircraft; and $210 million for HMMWV modernization for the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve. The agreement also includes $750 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment account.
In total, $600.7 million is provided for Israel Cooperative Programs. This includes $332 million for equipment procurement and $269 million in research and development – $455 million above the previous Administration’s request. An additional $43 million is also included for Israeli anti-tunneling efforts.
Defense Health and Military Family Programs – The agreement contains $34.1 billion for base and GWOT requirements – $1.5 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $314 million above the previous Administration’s request – for the Defense Health Program to provide care for our troops, military families, and retirees. The agreement provides $312 million for cancer research, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $296 million for sexual assault prevention and response. All of these funding levels represent increases above the budget request for these programs.
Force Structure – The agreement rejects the Obama Administration’s proposed troop reductions. Instead, the agreement provides increases above fiscal year 2016, including funds for an additional 1,000 active-duty Army soldiers, 1,000 Army National Guard soldiers, 1,000 Army Reserve soldiers, and 1,000 active-duty Marines.
Additionally, to maintain four Apache battalions in the Army National Guard, the agreement fully funds the modernization of existing Apaches, provides $190 million for five new Apaches and supports the annual operating costs of the four battalions. The agreement also provides funds to maintain a Combat Aviation Brigade in Korea.
Savings and Reductions to President Obama’s Request – The agreement reflects commonsense decisions to save taxpayer dollars where possible in areas that will not affect the safety or success of our troops and missions. Some of these savings include: $1.155 billion from lower-than-expected fuel costs; $157 million due to favorable economic conditions; and $4.76 billion in savings from rescissions of unused prior-year funding.
For text of the legislation, please visit: https://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/03.02.17_Defense_-_FY_2017_Appropriations_Bill.pdf
For the Explanatory Statement, please visit: https://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/03.02.17_Defense_-_FY_2017_Appropriations_Bill_-_Explanatory_Statement.pdf
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold its outside and public witnesses hearing on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at 10 a.m.
All testimony will be reviewed by the subcommittee and will be included in the public record.
The deadline to submit requests to testify is Tuesday, February 21, 2017. The deadline to submit written testimony is Wednesday, March 8, 2017.Read More
House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen today announced that each of the 12 Appropriations Subcommittees will convene Members’ Day hearings in February and March.
“The Appropriations Committee values the input and perspective of every Member of Congress and the people they represent. It is my goal to involve all Members in the appropriations process from the outset,” Chairman Frelinghuysen said. “These Members’ Day hearings will allow the Committee to listen and allow each Member of the House to have his or her voice heard and to have a hand in crafting 12 appropriations bills that reflect the concerns and priorities of the American people.”
The hearings are scheduled for the following dates and times:
Legislative Branch – February 15, 2 p.m.
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs – February 16, 9:30 a.m.
Commerce, Justice, and Science – February 28, 10:30 a.m.
Interior – February 28, 1:30 p.m.
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education – March 1, 10 a.m.
Homeland Security – March 1, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Energy and Water – March 8, 10 a.m.
Financial Services – March 8, 2 p.m.
Defense – March 9, 9:30 a.m.
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development – March 9, 10 a.m.
Agriculture – March 9, 2 p.m.
State, Foreign Operations – March 16, 10 a.m.Read More
House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen today announced several new hires and the staff assignments for the twelve Appropriations subcommittees.
“With an enormous amount of fiscal work to be done this year, we need the best staff there is to help produce quality legislation and to make the most out of every tax dollar. These smart, talented and dedicated staff are more than up for this task,” Frelinghuysen said.
The staff assignments are as follows:
Carol Murphy has re-joined the Committee as Senior Advisor to the Chairman. Murphy has over 25 years of government experience, including as professional staff on the Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture, Labor and Health and Human Services, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and the District of Columbia. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland.
Shannon O’Keefe will join the Committee as Director of Member Services. O’Keefe most recently served as the Director of Federal Appropriations Government Affairs for Motorola Solutions. She has also served as Deputy Associate Director for Legislative Affairs for the Office of Management and Budget for President George W. Bush and professional Staff on the Senate Appropriations & Budget Committees.
Rachel Kahler will join the Committee as Full Committee Administrative Assistant. Kahler most recently worked for the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, and has held various roles with Republican National Conventions, previous presidential inaugurations, and with the House of Representatives. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.
Tom O’Brien will remain as Clerk and Staff Director of the Agriculture subcommittee.
John Martens will remain as Clerk and Staff Director of the Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee.
Jennifer Miller will move to the position of Clerk and Staff Director of the Defense subcommittee. Miller was most recently the Director of the Surveys and Investigations unit of the Appropriations Committee, and has previously held roles as senior Full Committee staff and on the Defense subcommittee.
Donna Shahbaz will remain as Clerk and Staff Director of the Energy and Water subcommittee.
Dena Baron will move to the position of Clerk and Staff Director of the Financial Services subcommittee. Baron most recently served as Clerk and Staff Director of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee.
Valerie Baldwin will remain as Clerk and Staff Director of the Homeland Security subcommittee.
Dave LesStrang will remain as Clerk and Staff Director of the Interior subcommittee.
Susan Ross will remain as Clerk and Staff Director of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education subcommittee.
Liz Dawson will remain as Clerk and Staff Director of the Legislative Branch subcommittee.
Maureen Holohan will remain as Clerk and Staff Director of the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs subcommittee.
Craig Higgins will move to the position of Clerk and Staff Director of the State and Foreign Operations subcommittee. Higgins previously served on the staff of this subcommittee.
Doug Disrud will move to the position of Clerk and Staff Director of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development subcommittee. Disrud previously served on the staff of this subcommittee.
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, former House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, and Joint Task Force leaders Rep. Brad Wenstrup and Rep. Ken Calvert issued the following statement today in response to the release of the Department of Defense Inspector General report on allegations of the manipulation of intelligence at Central Command:
We appreciate the work of the Inspector General and the effort that was put into this investigation and report.
The report confirms there were numerous problems within the Central Command and that there was an understandable and “widespread perception that CCJ2 senior intelligence leaders were distorting intelligence to present a more positive view of the success of the ISF and a more negative view of the success of ISIIL.” The IG was “struck by the inadequate efforts” by CENTCOM leadership to address these issues, and also found several important procedural shortcomings and a challenging command climate that hindered many analysts’ work.
The Inspector General’s findings echo many of the findings of the Joint Task Force we empaneled last year to examine these issues. Although the two inquiries were conducted independently, they involved interviews of many of the same individuals and reviewed some of the same material.
We commend the whistleblowers who came forward, through proper channels, to identify the problems. The Joint Task Force’s and Inspector General’s investigations are a direct result of their complaints and should signal to employees throughout the Intelligence Community that appropriate and responsive mechanisms exist to bring concerns forward.
Because the Inspector General’s findings reinforce in several important respects the Joint Task Force’s findings, our committees will carefully consider the 29 recommendations proffered by the Inspector General. Our committees will monitor and assess their implementation, and we look forward to hearing from analysts within CENTCOM and other Combatant Commands to ensure these issues get resolved quickly. Furthermore, the Committees take whistleblower protections seriously and will closely monitor this situation to ensure whistleblowers are not subject to any retaliation.