|FY 2014 Defense Bills||Introduced||Passed||Conference Report||Conference Report Passed||Signed Into Law|
|National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)|
|Defense Appropriations Act|
On 15 May, the House Appropriations Committee marked-up the first Fiscal Year 2014 funding bill. The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee took up a draft bill that provides a total of $73.3 billion, which would fund all Active Component accounts and the Army and Air National Guard accounts below the request. The Army National Guard account is $5,000,000 below the request while the Air National Guard account is $12,000,000 below the request.
On 14 May, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA-25), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee introduced H.R. 1960 (link to attached bill). The bill includes provisions submitted by the Department of Defense. The Committee is expected to begin marking-up the bill the week of 20 May and finish in early June. An analysis of the bill as introduced can be found here.
On 26 March, the President signed H.R. 933, a Fiscal Year 2013 funding bill. The bill would provide full Fiscal Year 2013 funding for the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Commerce, and Justice, and a number of programs funded under Science appropriations. The bill would continue to fund other departments and government programs under another Continuing Resolution.
The bill includes numerous provisions to support the National Guard as an operational force. The bill funds most National Guard accounts at or above requested levels with the exception of Army National Guard Personnel.
The bill includes additional funding to maintain additional Air National Guard aircraft above those funded in the original Fiscal Year 2013 budget. The bill also provides additional procurement funding for Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS 2) units as well as additional funding for F-15 AESA radars for the Air National Guard.
The bill also increases funding to support the Army National Guard. The bills would provide an additional $100 million in Army Procurement for ARNG HMMWV modernization. The bill would also procure one additional LUH for the Army National Guard to replace a training loss. The bill includes a $199 million program increase for UH-60M Blackhawks for the Army National Guard and an additional $110 million for UH-60 A to L conversions for the Army National Guard. The bill would also prohibit the retirement of C-23 aircraft and provides funding to maintain those aircraft.
For NGREA, the bill provides $460 million for each the Army and Air National Guard.
The bill also includes an additional $130 million for National Guard counter-drug state plans.
A full analysis of the bill can be found here and the Spending Tables can be found here.
Earlier this month, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff along with Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Robert Hale provided members of Congress with examples of the impact of sequestration on the Department of Defense. Both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees held hearings to highlight the budget issues faced by the Department. During the Senate hearing, General Frank Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau said: "Sequestration will be devastating to the Department of Defense and the National Guard." On 26 February the Service Chiefs and GEN Grass carried a similar message to the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Sequestration in scheduled to take effect beginning 1 March.
Over two days, Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff along with Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Robert Hale provided members of Congress with examples of the impact of sequestration on the Department of Defense. Both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees held hearings to highlight the budget issues faced by the Department. During the Senate hearing, General Frank Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau said: "Sequestration will be devastating to the Department of Defense and the National Guard." Sequestration in scheduled to take effect beginning 1 March.
Earlier versions of the bill included a complete freeze on fiscal year 2013 Air Force force strucutre moves. The final law, however, requires the Secretary of the Air Force to retain 32 additional intra-theater airlift aircraft above the force structure proposal dated 2 November 2012. The type and location of the aircraft are left to the discretion of the Air Force. The law also includes an increase in Air National Guard end strength to retain force structure. The law does not include a provision that would prohibit the retirement of C-23 aircraft.
Among other important provisions, the law also: creates a Commission to assess the future force structure of the Air Force; authorizes two additional Civil Support Teams; lowers the strategic airlift aircraft requirement to 275 after completion of a report; provides fixes to PDMRA; and prevents changes in BAH when transition between active duty and full-time National Guard duty.
On 2 Aug, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a draft Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Appropriations Act. The draft bill would provide $800 million to endorce a 'one-year strategic pause' of the Air Force force structure adjustments, with $255 million of that in Air National Guard operations and maintenance. The draft would also provide an additional $260 million for weapons systems sustainment for the Air National Guard and require the Air Force to continue to procure C-27J aircraft with previously appropriated funds. The draft also includes $1 billion for NGREA, with $300 million for the Army National Guar dand $240 million for the Air National Guard. The draft would also provide additional funding for Army National Guard UH-60 A to L upgrades, additional funding for Air National Guard F-15 AESA radar, an additional $20 million for National Guard outreach and reintegration programs, and an additional $113 million for Counter Drug State Plans.
In mid July, the House passed H.R. 5856, their version of the Fiscal Year 2013 funding bill. During general debate of the bill, Rep. Kaptur (D-OH-9), said that the Air Force budget "did not appear to appreciate the Guard and Reserve." She went on to say that the bill addresses the issues and will allow the Air National Guard to, "continue their mission which they do well, at considerably less cost than the Air Force does."
During debate, a number of amendments related to the National Guard were approved. The House approved an amendment from Rep. Gallegly (R-CA-25) that would reactivate the four MAFF-1 firefighting units and procure two additional MAFF units. An amendment, approved by the House, from Rep. Altmire (D-PA-4) would provide an additional $15.5M for the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, with $10M for the Army National Guard. A Rep. Bonamici (D-OR-1) amendment would require the National Guard to complete a capabilities assessment of medical equipment needed for ambulance HMMWVs used for domestic operations, with a focus on cardiac monitoring and resuscitation equipment.
The bill, as approved by the House Appropriations Committee, included a provision that would prohibit expenditures on professional sport sponsorship. During floor debate, Rep. Palazzo (R-MS-4) raised a point of order against this provision, stating the the provision violated the House rule prohibiting legislating on appropriations bills. The point of order was sustained, and the provision was removed from the bill. The issue of funding for NASCAR led to a long colloquy.
The bill, which was previously approved by the Appropriations Committee, includes an increase of $591.7 million in Air National Guard Operations and Maintenance funding to "pause" the retirement of Air National Guard aircraft and reducing Air National Guard units. The bill would also require the Air Force to procure the remaining 17 C-27J aircraft to bring the total to 38 aircraft.
For the Army National Guard, the bill would also provide an additional $100 million for HMMWV upgrades, funding for ten additional UH-60M aircraft , additional funding for UH-60A to UH-60L upgrades, and funding for three additional UH-72 aircraft for the Army National Guard. The bill also prohibits the retirement of C-23 aircraft.
The bill would provides $2 billion for NGREA, with $650 million each for the Army and Air National Guard. The bill would allow up to three percent of that NGREA funding for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation.
The bill also provides an additional $130 million for National Guard Counter Drug programs.
On 26 July, the Senate confirmed the nominations of LTG Frank Grass to the grade of General and to be the Chief of the National Guard Bureua and Maj Gen Joseph Lengyel to the grade to Lieutenant General and to be the Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau. The Committee also approved the nomination of LTG John Kelly to the grade of General and Commander of SOUTHCOM.
Earlier this month the Committee held a hearing to hear testimony for LTG Grass, Gen Welsh, and LTG Kelly.
On 31 May, the House passed H.R. 5854, the Fiscal Year 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill. The bill funds the Army and Air National Guard at the requested levels.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved their version of the bill, S. 3215, on 22 May. Their bill also funds the Army and Air National Guard at the requested levels.
An anlaysis of the bills can be found here.
On 18 May, the House passed H.R. 4310, the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
During debate the House considered 142 amendments. The House approved multiple amendments that impact the National Guard including: an amendment that would clarify and expand the authorities of the State Partnership Program; an amendment to authorize two additional Civil Support Teams; an amendment that would allow for a pilot program for public-private partnerships to enhance mental health for National Guardsmen; an amendment to provide the sense of Congress that the Aerospace Control Alert mission is vital to the national security; an amendment allowing for coordination between the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and Small Business Development Centers; and an amendment to provide compensation for individuals that lost PDMRA benefits; an amendment requiring a report on the decision to close Air National Guard Component Numbered Air Force Augmentation Force; and an amendment to retain the core functions at the Air Traffic Control Station at Johnstown Air National Guard Base.
The bill the House took up includes a number of National Guard related provisions. Of note, the bill would prohibit the divestiture, retirement, or transfer of any C-23 aircraft or Air Force aircraft and increase Air National Guard end strength and full time support above the requested levels and hold them at roughly Fiscal Year 2012 levels.
The bill also includes numerous National Guard related provisions. Among other things, the bill would create a State Partnership Program Center of Excellence, require a report on the analysis behind any future C-130 retirements, require a report on the Army's airlift needs, prohibit the retirement of C-27J aircraft, codify the Staff Assistant position on the Joint Staff for National Guard and Reserve matters, authorize automatic Federal recognition of Army Guard Warrant Officers promoted to Chief Warrant Officers, protect BAH funding for transferring full-time National Guardsmen, and extend TRICARE coverage for Guard members involuntarily separated due to force structure changes. Committee report language also touches National Guard issues such as Yellow Ribbon Outreach, increased utilization of the UH-72, disestablishment of two WMD CSTs, and the National Guard's role in cyber security.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to begin working on their bill, S. 2467, during the week of 21 May. The Subcommittees will mark on 22-23 May with the full Committee marking 23-25 May.
National Guard senior leaders spent the week on the Hill providing testimony about the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request. On 28 March, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General McKinley, along with the Directors of the Army and Air National Guard provided testimony to the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. During the hearing members asked about the quality and quantity of National Guard equipment. In his opening statement, General McKinley stated that, "The National Guard is a more ready, more capable, and more rapidly deployable force than ever in our nation's history." He went on to highlight the National Guard's role as an operational force and recent contributions at home and abroad. Members of the Committee were very complimentary of Guardsmen. Both Representatives Cole (R-OK-9) and Calvert (R-CA-7) said that the National Guard is the best bang for the buck.
Also this week, the Deputy Directors of the Army and Air National Guard provided testimony at separate hearings on the Military Construction Request at the Senate Appropriations Military Construction Subcommittee.
Hearings provide an opportunity for members of the House and Senate to learn about the specifics of the National Guard's budget request.
The details of the Fiscal Year 2013 President's Budget were transmitted to the Hill during the second week of February, officially starting the budget process. The budget includes $28 billion for the National Guard. The Army National Guard Personnel and Operations and Maintenance account requests are above the Fiscal Year 2012 funding levels and reflect the increasing role of the National Guard as an operational force. The Air National Guard accounts reflect the Air Force plan to lower personnel and aircraft levels within the total Air Force. The first budget hearing will be held on 14 February with the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs tesifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The will be followed with hearings before the House Armed Services Committee on 15 Feb and the House Defense Appropriations Subcommitte on 16 Feb. A regularly updated list of all hearings can be found here.
An analysis of the budget request can be found here and National Guard budget documents can be found here. All National Guard military construction projects in the Fiscal Year 2013 request and the Future Years Defense Programs can be found here.
In coordination with development of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, the Department of Defense has released a new strategy and guidance for the armed forces. To meet the budget cutting requirements of the Budget Control Act of 2011 the Department examined the future roles and missions of the armed forces. During a January press conference, the Department released a document outlining the Priorities for the 21st Century as well as an accompanying fact sheet. The Department also released the Joint Operational Access Concept document that outlines the requirements needed for joint forces to operate in emerging threat scenarios.
The Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request release has been delayed a week from the customary timeline and will reach Congress on 13 Feb. On 26 January, the Department held a press conference and provided a preview of the full budget release. The Deparment also released a document entitled Defense Priorities and Choices that outlines the major areas impacted by the budget.