Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Defense Bill

Appropriations Bill Status
The House completed work on their version of the bill on July 19, however, Senate leaders have acknowledged they will likely be unable to complete work on FY13 spending measures until after the November elections.  As a result, House and Senate leaders announced that they have worked out an agreement on a six-month Continuing Resolution (CR) to continue government funding after the fiscal year ends on 30 September. Details of the CR are not expected to be released until Congress returns from recess in September.

Overview
On Thursday, August 2, 2012, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Appropriations bill. Overall, the Senate bill funds the National Guard BELOW the requested levels. The bill provides approximately $24.7 billion in base funding for National Guard Personnel and Operation and Maintenance accounts. These accounts reflect an increase of nearly $1.03 billion ABOVE FY12 amounts but $599 million BELOW the FY13 request.

Air Guard

  • Force Structure Changes: Both the House and Senate bills provide funding to “pause” the proposed Air Force force structure adjustments.  The Committee endorses a one-year strategic pause for Air Force force structure adjustments and includes $515.7 million in Operations and Maintenance funding to do that. The bill directs the use of existing funds for procurements of the C-27 Spartan and the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30, and adds more than $800 million to sustain current force structure, including equipment, personnel, and operations. 
  • AESA Radar: The Senate bill would also provide an additional $62.5 million for F-15 AESA radars for the Air National Guard.

Army Guard

  • HMMWVThe Senate bill does not include extra funding for HMMWV modernization, while the House bill would provide an additional $100 million in Army Procurement for ARNG HMMWV modernization. 
  • LUHThe House bill includes additional funding for three Army National Guard LUHs, while the Senate bill would procure one additional LUH. 
  • BlackhawksThe Senate bill provides funding for an additional 3 UH-60M aircraft for Army Procurement (though it’s unclear if they would go to the Guard), compared to the House bill’s 10 “M” models specifically for the ARNG. The Senate bill does, however, provide increased funding for ARNG UH-60A to UH-60L upgrades. The House bill appropriated an additional $20 million above the request for the conversions, and the Senate mark increases that amount to $210 million above the request. 
  • AbramsThe mark provides $91 million above the request for Abrams tanks but does not address giving them to the Guard. 
  • C-23 SherpaIt also doesn’t discuss the C-23 Sherpa, a NGAUS top priority.

NGREA
For NGREA, the Senate bill would provide $300 million for the Army National Guard and $240 million for the Air National Guard, while the House bill would provide $650 million for the Army National Guard and $650 million is for the Air National Guard.

Counter Drug
The Senate bill includes an additional $113 million for counter-drug state plans, while the House bill also includes an additional $130 million for National Guard counter-drug state plans.

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