Senate passes $631B defense bill

Senate passes $631B defense bill

The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to spend $631 billion in 2013 on the defense to include the Pentagon’s base budget and war funding.

Senators sped through defense budget amendments in hopes of passing the bill ahead of the more contentious forthcoming debates on taxes and entitlement programs as the country inches closer to the fiscal cliff. With those debates in mind, many defense analysts worried the Pentagon could serve as a sacrificial lamb and find itself absorbing deeper cuts.

Pentagon leaders will see the recent record breaking growth in defense spending halted, but it will not see the same precipitous drop in military spending that has occurred in past downturns. Of course, the threat of sequestration and the $500 billion budget cuts that go with it still looms over the military. The Pentagon’s budget could also still get dragged into the negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff.

For the most part, the military’s largest weapons programs did not take substantial cuts to include the Pentagon’s biggest program, the Joint Strike Fighter. The Air Force will receive $3.7 billion and the Navy will receive $3.2 billion to fund their respective portions of the F-35 program.

One Air Force program that did receive a nick was the tanker program. The Pentagon proposed the Air Force receive $1.9 billion, but the Senate only green-lighted $87 million toward the KC-46 program. Air Force leaders continue to nervously watch the sequestration negotiations as they know their fixed-price tanker contract could evaporate if sequester cuts are executed.

Army leadership can breathe easier as their top modernization program, the Ground Combat Vehicle, received its requested $639 million. It also received $318 million to buy 58 Strykers. The Army’s exhausted UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter fleet will also receive a boost with the Senate approving $1.3 billion to buy more Black Hawks.

The Senate did approve most of the funding requests offered by the Navy to include the $778 million on attack submarines, however, the Senate did include provisions on funding for the Ford-class aircraft carrier and the Littoral Combat Ship programs. Navy leaders faced intense scrutiny during budget hearings over both programs.

Senate leaders did issue a message to the Pentagon on the high profile missile defense program, the Medium Extended Air Defense System, or MEADS. The Senate denied the $400.8 million requested for the program that Army leaders have already decided to kill after next year.

Army officials had requested the money in hopes of harvesting certain technologies from the program. The Obama administration also did not want to fail to fund an international program they had committed to with Germany and Italy. This is certainly not the first time the House or Senate has worked to yank funding from the much politically unpopular MEADS program, but funding has repeatedly been approved in the last moments to keep the program alive.

The decisions on defense by the Senate is not the last word on the 2013 defense budget. A House-Senate conference committee will work out the differences between the Senate’s and House’s versions of the defense bill before it’s presented to the president. Work has begun to get those negotiations started.

President Obama has threatened to veto the bill once it arrives on his desk after Congress inserted legislation preventing the Defense Department from transferring detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the United States.

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No mentioned in this article, but worth noting: The Senate defense bill also authorizes the purchase of 26 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters and 12 EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft for a total of more than $3 billion. The bill also includes an additional $60 million (about $15 million more than the House defense authorization bill) in “advance procurement funds” for the F/A-18 program. The White House budget office again threatened to veto the bill because of the Super Hornet purchases.

“The Administration objects to the unrequested authorizations for the advance procurement of additional F/A-18E/F Navy fighter aircraft and for unneeded upgrades to the M-1 Abrams tank,” said the message from the Office of Management and Budget.

Of course the White House didn’t request them. The Navy did. Someone is still trying to kill off the F-35’s competition. It looks now that Super Hornets are going to be bought no matter what because the F-35 might not make it through sequestration and the Navy absolutely needs to have an alternative.

Here’s a link: https://​www​.stlbeacon​.org/​#​!​/​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​2​8​2​8​0​/​s​e​n​ate

Also here’s another link to a very good argument on why we should keep the Super Hornet: http://​www​.scribd​.com/​d​o​c​/​8​8​9​4​6​6​6​0​/​W​h​y​-​t​h​e​-​U​S​N​-an

The White House is completely incompetent for wanting to remove the 38 additional Super Hornets. Do they really think that the F-35C will be operational and ‘go to war’ capable by 2016? Not only does this keep deliveries going until 2017 (if approved), but it keeps a lot of jobs across the country intact. If things get worse with the program I can only see this order getting bigger and bigger like the MYP-III has. Nice week for Boeing they just got (hopefully) 53 more Hornets on the books, in addition to the 100 still backlogged.

They act like the DOD is saved BUT this still means nothing the House budget is alot different and both has amendments that the White House may Veto. It may take more than a week to work threw such problems.

And of course both good and bad from the budget.

The bill makes more money for F-15 and F-22 upgrades great. More funds for new DDG-1000 planed Destroyers. And though I dislike the Hornet it allows to buy more E models to replace old A and C versions.

But like any bill now days full of wasteful pork. M-1 tank upgrades that no one wants. More money wasted in the worthless F35 program where cost could be saved and effectiveness in the USAF could be done in a fraction of th cost to just have more F-22s and more F-15s upgraded. Biggest pork of all GCV which total waste of time and money. But Generals used all of there bribes to keep it in the budget. Surprised AMPV is not in the budget for this coming year.

Overall BIGGEST flaw no planning for coming sequestration. With all the money flying into Washington they can’t plan for anything and lose money keep it business as usual.

“Air Force leaders continue to nervously watch the sequestration negotiations as they know their fixed-price tanker contract could evaporate if sequester cuts are executed.”

Can you imagine having to go through the three-ring clown show of recompeting the tanker contract yet *again*?

The real laugh, though, is hearing the political idiots inside of the Beltway, and their stenographers in the media, describe what’s going on as a “fiscal cliff”.

No. Compared to what’s coming, this isn’t a cliff. Not even close. It’s a gentle step downward. What’s coming soon, though, is an actual fiscal cliff. If not a bottomless chasm.

As Mark Steyn points out, if fiscal-cliff sequestration happens in full, it will result in cuts of $153B in total over the coming decade.

To put that in perspective, Steyn continues, $153B is approximately how much America currently _borrows_ each and every month.

Such cuts are a “cliff”? It is to laugh. Sourly.


“Pentagon leaders will see the recent record breaking growth in defense spending halted, but it will not see the same precipitous drop in military spending that has occurred in past downturns.”

Not exactly. If you go back and look at those “past downturns”, you’ll see that while they were pretty deep, they were also rather more gradual than the cuts being proposed at the moment.

The Navy modified a previously let contract last week for 15 FY2013 –Es . The Senate authorization is basically confirming the budget request to purchase a total of 26 –E/Fs and 12 –Gs for FY2013. The aircraft are to be delivered in 2015.

$631,000,000,000 going to nothing while people are starving on the streets. People are living without a safe place to sleep. Human beings in america are being left to die. $631,000,000,000 to pay for useless bombs, guns, and drones while real people are being left to die. Our country came under attack at the end of October this year and nothing was done to rescue the people trapped in their flooded homes. NOTHING was done to save our citizens as they waited for help and were left to die. Same as on September 11, 2001. No one was there. No marines. No air force. No army. No navy. NOTHING. People were jumping to their deaths to avoid burning to death on that day and no one ever showed up. FAIL!!!!!!!

Maybe the finance genius types can explain all this. In 2011, the Fed collected $2.3B in taxes. To me, THAT is the Fed spending that defines living within our means. Not the deficit spending nonsense which will condemn us to Greece x10. So subtract from that the Fed Def spending mentioned above (which includes money for Operation:USELESS DIRT), then add the VA which consumes another $90B per year. That is Defense related even if it isn’t under the DOD. You now have an idea why Defense spending, as a percentage of GDP, is such a dumb way to look at things. Defense spending as a percentage of the available Federal budget is what counts. Wasteful spending like Operation:USELSS DIRT, LCS, F-35, giga-dollar carriers, and lately, amphibs with no well deck, at over $3B each, along with silliness like DDX and finally having to make sure we don’t use the Stryker in any real war because it is a death trap and I would say serious reform is in order. But I suppose the entitlement society and paying welfare to a population that thinks breeding as a career path is all you have to do to collect a check and it may be a bit past “reform”.

Federal and state means tested welfare programs total over ONE TRILLION dollars enough to give every person living in poverty a check for $22,000. The problem isn’t the defense budget for the problems you list above.

And your comment about 9/11 just shows everyone here how ignorant you are about how the world works in fact I am sorry I responded because you are to far gone to reach with reality.

—Correction– “$2.3T” (not B) in taxes.

Nice analysis, NOT! Of course the only way to measure the cost of defending the nation is to measure it against the wealth that nations produces.

I notice you don’t include any information on the cost of welfare or entitlements the real driver of the deficit and debt.

Question to the author of this story the $631 billion covers war costs yet I see no mention of that cost in the story so the article is deceptive as we will eventually end this war.

Am I the only one who finds it odd that the Senate vote was unanimous?

That’s a lot of Hornets.

Fuck you whining asses. No one has to live in the streets!!! They choose too.. Grow up!!

No, to be honest I’m slightly wondering about that myself. In someway it actually worries me since it is so unusual.

TOTALLY annoyed that they are cutting the KC-46 program while preserving the bloated F-35. However, even so, I would classify this as a victory for the Dems. A Democrat-dominated Senate overwhelming passes a bill to protect defense — sort of like killing OBL. Who’s weak on national defense again?

I just found out that the bill also includes funding for “the research, development, and testing of upgrades” for the Super Hornet. Although it doesn’t specify if those upgrades include the ones that Boeing is offering in the International Road Map. I’m curious.

Here’s a link: http://​comptroller​.defense​.gov/​d​e​f​b​u​d​g​e​t​/​f​y​2​0​1​3/F

I just found out that the bill also includes funding for “the research, development, and testing of upgrades” for the Super Hornet. Although it doesn’t specify if those upgrades include the ones that Boeing is offering in the International Road Map. I’m curious.

Here’s a link: http://​comptroller​.defense​.gov/​d​e​f​b​u​d​g​e​t​/​f​y​2​0​1​3/F

No prob. We could simply eliminate defense spending and let the Chinese deal with our poor the way they do theirs. BTW, defense spending is mandated by the Constitution. As for your Sandy reference, I thought Obama’s showing up at the scene was enough. It was apparently enough for those “undecided” voters who swung his way because of that miracle press conf.

Just found another update. It’s finally happened. People are talking about eliminating the F-35C permanently and just buying 240 Super Hornets to compensate:

“Cut the Navy’s plan to purchase 237 F-35Cs (carrier-launched) multirole fighters and instead buy 240 F/A-18E/F fighters—saving $16.62 billion over 10 years”

Here’s a link: http://​www​.americanprogress​.org/​i​s​s​u​e​s​/​m​i​l​i​t​a​r​y/r

BlackOwl18E… Do you know if any of the improvements to F/A-18E/F/G include backfitting avionics that have been developed for use in F-35B/C ?

Don’t get your hopes up just yet. “People” in this case is one think tank. Congress and the President largely ignored their own debt-reduction commissions. That report will probably get thrown on top of the pile of other “good ideas.”

New report stating that Canada has cancelled its F-35 purchases:

This month will be interesting to watch play out.

Not a clue. However, the upgrades that Boeing is offering for the Super Hornet are made to provide the same or nearly the same capability as that of the F-35.

Adam you are totally ignorant about the real world of today. Put the pipe and Obama phone down, get off the herb farm and open your eyes. Oh and about your account of nobody being there during 9/11? Well son I was there…

All services have R&D programs to upgrade their major weapons and aircraft during their life cycle. This is not new. Just look at the Air Force, Navy and Army budget books for research, development, test and evaluation, which are available online at the same comptroller site as you highlight.

The simplier way to make your point is not to look at the trillion dollar or whatever figure they are proposing for the next ten years. Just look at the current year. A $100 billion cut is about 3% of the proposed federal budget of $3.7 trillion. That’s no cliff.

Or anyway. The Pentagon saw their budget increase by about 2% a year with inflation, substantially increasing in some years, so that it more than doubled it budget. A 10% sequestration cut won’t hurt them.

The Pentgaon just needs to stop its whining and grow up. We have real problems to solve.

When they all want to get out of town, it’s usually unamimous.

Right now every single dollar the government gets in tax receipts (income) is spent on those people you talk about here in the USA. Not one penny of this is actually spent running the government or military every single dime to do that is borrowed from someone else.

Adam–how naive! the national defense of our country is actually one of the very few things our federal government is constitutionally mandated to do. FDR and LBJ ruined this country with portions of the New Deal and the Great Society creating what has become a massive entitlement society. Entitlements are the largest piece of the federal budget and are the largest portions of the budgets of ALL 50 states…think about that.


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