President Biden released the FY22 President’s Budget on May 28th, 2021. The president’s budget requests $753.0 billion in total national defense spending, including $715.0 billion for the Department of Defense and $42.1 billion for Direct War and Enduring Operations requirements accounts, which now comprise “traditional” OCO funding streams. The late release of the President’s Budget caused a cascading affect on the rest of the cycle, delaying normal NDAA and appropriations processes.
The House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee marked up its FY22 Department of Defense appropriations on June 30. This legislation supports the elimination of the Overseas Contingency Operations funding and contains multiple provisions beneficial for the National Guard including: $285.0M NGREA funding for both the ARNG and ANG, $194.2 million for the National Guard Counter-drug program, $5.6 million for National Guard Counter-drug Schools. Provisions affecting the Army National Guard include: $841.7 million for 33 UH-60M helicopters for the ARNG, $960.3 million for the Abrams Upgrade Program to modernize 70 M1 Abrams tanks for the ARNG, and $100.0M for ARNG HMMWV Modernization Program. Provisions affecting the Air National Guard include: $274.0 million for C-130H modifications for the ANG and $95.9 million for F-16 AESA RADAR modifications for the ANG. The full committee completed its mark up on July 13. The next step, the full House considers the legislation.
The Senate Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee is still in process of marking up their FY22 Department of Defense appropriations. HAC and SAC are expected to conference in late fall.
The Senate Armed Services Committee completed their markup of the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. The committee released the executive summary of their markup on July 23, the full bill is expected to be released in September when HASC completes their markup of the NDAA.
Capitol Response Mission
H.R.3237, Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to January 6th Appropriations Act, 2021, was signed into law by President Biden on July 30th, 2021. This bill provided reimbursement of $520.9 million to the National Guard for the Capitol Mission.
H.R.3512, Healthcare for our Troops Act, would provide zero-cost TRICARE Reserve Select and dental coverage for all members of the Reserve Component and authorizes TRS eligibility for servicemembers who are federal employees in their civilian capacity. Initial CBO scores estimate this bill to cost $718 million a year. The cost savings of this bill to mandatory spending has yet to be calculated. NGAUS Legislative Staff has continued to garner support for H.R.3512 in both the House and the Senate. There is still no Senate companion bill.
S.1291, Record of Military Service for Members of the Armed Service Act of 2021, would provide a definitive record of military service (DD-214) for all members of the reserve components. This bill would replace NGB Form 22 and would make it easier for Guardsmen to obtain benefits. NGAUS Legislative Staff remains committed to increasing support of this bill in the Senate and gathering support for a companion bill in the House.
Additional legislation NGAUS remains active in shepherding through Congress include: S.1178/H.R.1854 – RECRUIT Act which authorizes small business an additional tax credit for employing members of the Guard and Reserve and S.1859/H.R.3626 – provides incentive and bonus pay parity for the Guard and Reserve.
NGAUS Legislative Staff continues to engage Congress to ensure that the National Guard remains concurrently and proportionally equipped and modernized equal to the Active Component, as well as socializing Space National Guard as the reserve component of Space Force.