House Defense Bills Great for the Guard
This week is a busy week – the House of Representatives will be considering its version of the FY14 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), H.R 1960, on the floor. Meanwhile, the Senate Armed Services Committee will be marking its version S.1304.
The House Armed Services committee passed H.R. 1960 last week, recommending an overall discretionary and mandatory authorization of $638.4 billion in fiscal year 2014. The FY14 NDAA authorizes $552.1 billion in spending for national defense and an additional $85.8 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, $5 billion more than the President requested. This is consistent with the levels authorized in the FY13 NDAA for the base budget and $2.7 billion less for war spending. The authorization exceeds the defense budget caps set under sequestration by $52 billion.
Additionally, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense passed a $512.5 billion draft spending bill in a closed session and will move to full committee consideration this week. House leaders expect the bill on the floor by the end of the month. Likewise, the bill does not take into account automatic spending cuts dictated by sequester.
NGAUS is happy to report that, so far in the NDAA and appropriations process, things are working out pretty well for the Guard. This year, the NGAUS legislative team drafted a variety of legislative proposals based off of our resolutions and strategic goals. In the House, a large number of those proposals have been included in the NDAA and the Defense Appropriations bills.
- Preserves the Capabilities of the National Guard as an Operational Force
- Recommends concurrent fielding of equipment for the Army National Guard and Air National Guard
- Prioritizes C-130 modernization, propulsion upgrades and planning for recapitalization
- Encourages continued use of the Army National Guard through periodic mobilization for real-world missions
- Authorizes additional funding for new Abrams Tanks for the Army National Guard
- Includes plans and guidance on Air National Guard MQ-1 and MQ-9 recapitalization
- Codifes the National Guard State Partnership Program
- Includes the National Guard in mission analysis for cyber operations
Provides an additional $5 million for the Youth ChalleNGe Program
- Funds embedded mental health
- Provides an additional $130 million for National Guard counter drug activities
- Requires inclusion of fully burdened life cycle costs in DoD reporting
- Honors certain members of the reserve component as veterans
- Funds an additional $146 million for UH-60M aircraft
- Provides an additional $100 million for HWWWVs for the Army National Guard
- Includes $25 million for STARBASE, a program that was not funded in the President’s Budget Request
- Appropriates $900 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account (NGREA) for the Army and Air Guard
- Includes an additional $130 million for the National Guard counter-drug program
- Appropriates an additional $5 million for the Youth ChalleNGe program.
As the committees continue to move this important legislative toward passage in the House and Senate, NGAUS will fight to ensure these important provisions are included.
You can read a full analysis of H.R. 1960 here.