Senate Defense Appropriators Report Spending Bill while Congressional Leaders Agree on Another Continuing Resolution Deal

After months of waiting, the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee (SAC-D) finally approved by voice vote their Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) as well as legislation passed in the House, in terms of the National Guard. In his opening statement, Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) stated “the bill provides over $800 million to comply with the Senate Armed Services Committee's direction to pause Air Force-proposed force structure adjustments until a national commission reports to the Congress.”

The bill directs the use of existing funds for procurement of the C-27J Spartan and the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30, as well as uses the added $800 million to sustain current force structure, including equipment, personnel, and operations.

SAC-D’s FY13 spending bill is the final piece of the puzzle in terms of Congressional response to the Air Force’s FY13 budget request which sought to reduce spending through disproportionate cuts to the Air National Guard. As this bill moves to final consideration by the full Appropriations Committee, as well as the Senate floor, it is clear to us here at NGAUS that Congress will stand up and protect the National Guard.

But the battle is not over. Even though Congressional leaders announced today a six month deal to continue funding the government, to be voted on after August recess, the rest of the legislative year will be packed full of pressing and consequential legislative matters.

The sequester debate is just tip of the unfinished business iceberg. And Congress still has to tackle a range of expiring provisions such as the bush-era tax cuts, the looming debt ceiling and another threat of government shutdown, not to mention facing many hard re-election battles. With only a few legislative days remaining in the year, Congress still has a lot on its plate.

Tell us what you think about the Senate's Defense Appropriations bill and the year's end legislative "Perfect Storm."

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