NGAUS Washington Report
(March 5, 2013) The National Guard should be pleased with a $982 billion funding bill released Monday by the House Appropriations Committee designed to keep the government open past March 27.
In all areas except Army Guard personnel, the committee funds the Guard at or above the president’s request.
The bill would fund the Defense Department, military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, it is subject to cuts required by the sequester, so expectations should be kept in check.
The bill would provide $1.5 billion for the congressionally directed National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, including $460 million each for the Army and Air Guard, and $130 million for the Guard’s counterdrug program.
A provision of the legislation would prevent funding for moving or retiring aircraft from the Air Force or transform any unit. It does not apply to C-5, C-17 or E-8 aircraft or their units.
The bill specifically prohibits the retirement of the C-23 Sherpa and includes $10.3 million to retain eight Sherpa aircraft.
The full House could vote on this bill Thursday. The Senate, however, seems to prefer a larger omnibus bill to fund the entire government. Lawmakers have until March 27 to work out their differences. That’s when the continuing resolution currently funding the government runs out.
Here are the funding levels for the Guard included in the committee’s bill:
- Army Guard personnel: $7,981,577,000 ($121,630,000 below request);
- Air Guard personnel: $3,153,990,000 ($43,925,000 above request);
- Army Guard operations and maintenance: $7,154,161,000 ($45,549,000 above request);
- Air Guard operations and maintenance: $6,494,326,000 ($478,871,000 above request);
- Army Guard overseas contingency operations personnel: $583,804,000 (at request);
- Air Guard overseas contingency operations personnel: $10,473,000 (at request);
- Army Guard overseas contingency operations O&M: $392,448,000 ($10,000,000 above request);
- Air Guard overseas contingency operations O&M: $34,500,000 ($14,525,000 above request);
- Army Guard military construction: $613,799,000 (at request); and
- Air Guard military construction: $42,386,000 (at request).