Senate Panel Passes $594 Billion Defense Bill

Senate Panel Passes $594 Billion Defense Bill

A U.S. Senate panel approved a $594 billion defense spending bill for next year that seeks to restore the readiness of combat units amid automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

The Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee today passed the legislation, which includes $516.4 billion for the Defense Department’s base budget and $77.8 billion for overseas contingency operations, including the war in Afghanistan, in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

“With increasingly limited funds, this bill cuts waste, prioritizes department spending, and puts a premium on readiness,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, the panel’s chairman, said in a statement. “Our choices will only get tougher if we let sequestration continue for fiscal year 2014 and future spending bills.”

The Pentagon faces $500 billion in across-the-board cuts over a decade. That’s in addition to almost $500 billion in defense reductions already included in 2011 deficit-reduction legislation. The first installment of automatic cuts began March 1 after lawmakers were unable to reach a deal to avert them.

Unless Republicans and Democrats find common ground on taxes and spending, particularly on domestic programs, the cuts will slice the Pentagon’s budget next year by about $52 billion.

The White House has threatened to veto the House’s version of the defense spending bill. The chamber last week passed a measure totaling $598 billion, including a $512.5 billion base budget and $85.8 billion war budget, which would be paid for in part by cutting education, health research and other domestic programs.

In their spending plans for defense next year, the White House, the House and the Senate all assume the automatic reductions will be avoided — which isn’t necessarily realistic, given the budget gridlock in Washington.

Nevertheless, the Senate bill would give troops and civilian workers a 1 percent pay raise, restrict development of service-specific combat uniforms and set aside $25 million to provide sexual assault victims with legal assistance and support.

It would increase funding for training exercises, flying hours and depot maintenance. It would also add $227 million to the Navy’s Virginia-class submarine program and $100 million to the DDG 51 destroyer program for so-called 10-ship, multi-year contracts.

The legislation would fund the planned purchase of 29 F-35 fighter jets, though limit funding in 2015 to keep focus on testing and software deliveries. It would also provide funding to buy more of the Army’s CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache helicopters, the Air Force’s C-130J Super Hercules cargo aircraft, the Navy’s P-8 Poseidon and E-2D Hawkeye planes, the Marine Corps’ MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and the Army’s battlefield communications systems.

The bill would fund the development of future programs such as the Air Force’s Long Range Strike bomber and KC-46 refueling tanker, the Navy’s next-generation jammer and the MQ-4 Triton drone, and the Army and Marine Corps’ Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to replace the Humvee.

The legislation would provide less war funding than the Obama administration requested, in part because it would strip funding for the Pentagon’s planned purchase of additional Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan security forces.

The Moscow-based manufacturer, Russian Helicopters, makes both civilian and military versions of the aircraft. Another company, Rosoboronexport, the state-owned arms exporter also based in Moscow, sells military variants abroad.

Lawmakers have repeatedly criticized the deal, saying the U.S. shouldn’t be buying weapons from a company that funnels arms to the regime in Syria, where more than 100,000 people have died in an ongoing civil war.

The full committee is expected to vote on the measure Thursday.

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I read on other sites that LRIP-6 will see a price reduction of 4% and LRIP-7 will be reduced 8%, with 36 and 35 aircraft in the respective orders, albeit without the F-135’s in that price.

I may be not too known with the US budgeting process (why the hell not just a yearly budget with every expediture in it, including defense, domestic etc), but doesn’t this defense bill undo sequestration? I mean we all knew those bribed people you call politicians would never allow it to go on. I just pray domestic spending cuts will be undone as well. Because that makes sequestration a phony: cuts to defense will be undone, domestic not so much. But that would indeed be befitting of a morally bankrupt society: starve our (mostly black) children, but fund our useless toys (which because of underengineering are mostly inferior to superior European designs). Let’s hope that president O will withdraw from Afghanistan and don’t commit to Syria (besides a few bullets and rifles), in order to at least ‘cut’ OCO spending.

At least they decided not to accelerate the F-3$ dissaster. Still let’s buy 29 more mistake jets next year!

I’m also skeptical of the “price decrease” as ELP points out in this article: http://​elpdefensenews​.blogspot​.com/​2​0​1​3​/​0​7​/​f​-​3​5-l

Often their are hidden payments that are not factored into these press releases of “good news” from the F-3$ program and facts are often twisted to provide the best possible story on how great the program is going. Time and time again their program has misrepresented the truth.

@Concerned European…You, sir, are an idiot.

Sure, look at the Soviet Union. Learn your history. Keep producing the most weapons while your intestins decay. That’s the ingredients of a hollow body. Like a man with a 200lbs torso and the legs of a 6 year old boy.

Anyway, I was saying that the defense ‘half’ of sequestration was never going to be going through, while the ‘domestic’ side is being celebrated. Sad state of affairs.

Don’t feed the troll. If you ignore them, they usually go away. Its attention they crave.+

We have two chambers in our legislature. The Senate voted on its version, but the House has not. They must match for it to become law. After that, sequestration is still in effect and they’ll have to find billions in reductions from this budget.

No the European has it right the just spend spend spend on defense no matter what is not good for yur economy.

This bill doesn’t matter it wont pass the House neither will the House bill pass the senate. this is all pork anyway. And shows corruption and waste in the Pentagon and the Hill

Your founding fathers, whom I respect, weren’t idiots, even if many of their heirs and succesors were/are. Yes, the constitution says common defense. But is ALSO says, quite more importantly even, promot the common welfare. Guess what. If you have a finite ammount of money, you need to really rethink the allocation of those funds. I, like about 99% of the world, thinks that money may be steered a bit more towards the civilian side of the budget. There aren’t any real war threats in the world (talking about large wars), and A’stan is ending. So yes, like when a storm goes away, you can dare venture outside the storm shelter. No need to keep staying inside. When another storm comes, you can up your defense budget again.

If we don’t have a peacetime economy, then we have nothing that can be converted into for wartime.

Went turned factories that made peacetime goods into tank and jeep factories for WW2. Can’t turn a Walmart into a gun factory overnight. We’re in the position the Third Reich was in the ‘30s in that despite a stockpile of interesting equipment, we cannot sustain attritional warfare, and if it turns to that we are doomed in the long run. Albert Speer would probably agree…

Hey European, you speak from the luxury of having the US military protect you for the last 50 years. Therefore you were “free” to spend as you wish. How about we leave your European defense totally in your own capable hands (hahahaha) and then you’ll wake up to a new reality.

I agree Big-Dean, Il live in Europe and I can tell you europe is in total decline, and Europe military go nowhere without US aid. There is nothing in Europe for futur miltary program, and there is no money to conduct something. I live in europe but my heart is for USA.

Why not just pull back from Afganistan, GITMO detention and what remains are in IRAQ??? What savings now;)

I know/understand. But the fact I meant was: wasn’t the base budget already around 520b last year? For defense. And now they have ‘sequestered it’ all the way down to 516b? How is that half of 100b in reductions? Shouldn’t the base budget then be around 480/470b? Instead of 516b? I mean they just did away with the sequester right?

I know, but you overstate the facts. Let me put it like this: during the Cold War, we Euro’s spent a heck of a lot more billions of our money on defense, then we do now. Why? Well, the great big Soviet Empire is now a little shadow of it’s former self. Save for islamic terrorism, we hardly have the need for huge defense expenditure, HENCE we cut our budgets by over 50/60/70%.
As have you folks, after the cold war (bush 1/clinton).

Now, the fact that your congress is packed with people from the MIC (mil. ind. complex), is not our fault, as we Euro’s (your fathers) budget based on actual and percieved threats, and not scare mongering ourselfs into inflated budgets.

As for no military programs, well ask yourself this sirs, we just recently have the a400m, MULTIPLE fighter jets (gripen, Rafale AND EF Typhoon (while you can hardly get the f35 airborne). We have better missile systems (despite MUCH lower defense budgets all this by the way).

Now I might seem or sound anti American, but I’m surely not. I wouldn’t even post here if I was. The sad thing is twofold: you people have a corrupted government, AND you have a lack of engineering skills (because you let it all be cut in the name of corporate profits. You see, even in defense there is a big need for government: to keep the shareholders and CEO’s from blowing away everything the taxpayer paid for in the previous decades.

Sure, but the difficult part is having a peace time ‘industrial’ economy. That’s going to take a government industrial policy. Automobiles, airplanes, trains and heavy machinery are what any superpower should be able to make indiginously (sp). Get your manufacturing up to about 20% of gdp, and you’ll be set. hint: the US was way over 20% all the way up until the 80’s. It was an actual full fledged superpower until then too (even before ww2). Manifest destiny. I hope you manifest some manufacturing back. Pressure your ceo’s.

FY13 was $613B which included OCO. Sequestration mandated a 10% cut across the board. The math is difficult to peg down for FY13 because we went through half the year on a Continuing Resolution which kept us at FY12 levels. The DoD will have cut about $45B by the end of September. Just because the Senate voted for a $590B budget doesn’t mean it will happen. Sequestration is still law unless Congress can either vote to undo it or find another way of satisfying the tax/buget cut requirements. Sequestration for FY14 will require at least a $50B cut from the DoD if nothing changes (basically what we spent in FY13 minus $5-$10B more.)

The issue is that who would buy American when you can buy South Korean, Taiwanese or Chinese?

Amusingly, the Japanese outsource vehicle construction to us because it would cost them more to build cars in Japan to ship to America. It may be Japan’s loss but it’s certainly our gain.

But note the Japanese do not move all their factories to cheaper countries and then ship the stuff back to Japan and pocket the difference…

So all this doom and gloom over 20b in cuts? In a total of 600 billion? I guess the rich do cry wolf. Anyway, the sequestration act, is a law, not the constitution, as such, any lettering of any law can undo it. I want it to be undone fairly: domestic spending cuts to be restored penny by penny as well. For every defense dollar, add a domestic dollar. That’s the way the sequester was designed, that’s the way it should be undone as well. Well, let’s hope OCO funds come down drastically after fy14. Greedy ones like to beef up OCO as a slush fund to the general defense budget. If you only had 10k US soldiers left in Astan after ’14, you need only 10billion in OCO (soldiers consts about a million a year there they say). Bet you the OCO number is at least thrice that.

The European welfare state as we know it didn’t really kick off until much later…something about going through two wars in as many decades and losing hundreds of thousands of men…twice.

That said, even the UK has a formidable welfare state; and they certainly did their share. Even Germany, speedbump of NATO had to assemble an army from what the Soviets couldn’t steal and what the Marshall Plan gave back after the Morgenthau Plan; a ground war and strategic bombing.

A degree of outsourcing isn’t only normal, it’s a necessity. China for example doesn’t allow foreign auto makers to sell there without manufacturing it there, and on top of that they FORCE them to go into joint ventures with domestic automakers. Japan makes many automobiles in the US, because it can’t make them all itself, and the US is the biggest market for them. However they rarely import a car themselves. They build what they buy, AND export a lot. See, a nation of 140 million people builds more automobiles than a nation of 315 million. That right there is wrong, there is no reason the US can’t build TWICE as many cars than Japan. It’s all about the per capita calculation.

Now we all know that Japan doesn’t adhere to laissez faire, because that’s just insane. Sadly the US has done it for years (well, just give aways to CEO’s). Real laissez faire would have meant a bankrupt airline industry (bush years), a bankrupt Chrysler (reagan years), and no more automobile sector at all (Obama years).

See, even the most retarded southern President will, when push comes to shove, PROTECT their own. However, it’s better policy to ‘promote’ and ripen your own, then it is to protect them in their moment of need. If you promote them, a moment of need may never arrive. Alas, get an industrial policy focused on building the best product at home. The ingenuity is still there. It needs some investment.

Well I can agree with you on two points

–the F-35 program is a giant black hole
–and the US government is Totally corrupt from head to toe

but I’ll still take my Super Hornets, Eagles, Vipers, and F-22s over your Gripens, Rafales and Typhoons any day ;-P

Defense Secretary Hagel said he was going to need to gut the forces of personnel in order to save the F-35 program: http://​www​.standard​.net/​s​t​o​r​i​e​s​/​2​0​1​3​/​0​7​/​3​1​/​h​a​gel–

Hagel’s not just talking of personnel, he’s talking of benefits to veterans and other things. The Pentagon has put procurement over people in the recent past and right now it looks like they will be faced with very serious decisions in the near future. They can have the people or the F-35, but not both.

You know, I just read where contractor over-cost to build ships, planes, and other weapon systems have mushroomed up to 200% over the original estimate, and we got people screaming about this. Some people need to get their priorities straight.

Very true.

You have a link where you read that?

There are no starving kids in the USA. The Department of Health and Human Services pays for adverts saying “1 in 6 Americans are going hungry”. But their own published reports say 1 in 37 have food problems, that’s a huge difference. Basically Europeans get snippets of the Democrat Party’s dumbing down of America. Black children are eligible for substantially more State and Federal welfare programs than White, Hispanic, Asian and Native American children in identical social and economic situations. That’s is the liberals program to keep Blacks enslaved to the liberals.

Actually you are totally wrong on common defense/welfare, defense is MUCH MORE prominent and a designated role of the federal government to PROVIDE.

PROVIDE for the Common Defense as in actually build it and pay for it
PROMOTE the general welfare as in let people alone to pursue their own interests (i.e. happiness)

You cannot just discuss the Constitution without the historical context available form such sources as the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers.


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