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House Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2021 Defense Funding Bill

July 15, 2020 by Dan McCue
Detail of the House side of the U.S. Capitol, June 30, 2020. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved the fiscal year 2021 defense spending bill on a vote of 30 to 22. 

The legislation funds the Department of Defense, including operations and maintenance, readiness activities, research and development, equipment modernization, and health and quality-of-life programs for U.S. troops and military families.

For fiscal year 2021, the bill provides $694.6 billion in new discretionary spending authority for the Department of Defense for functions under the Defense Subcommittee’s jurisdiction, an increase of $1.3 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level.

It is about $3.7 billion below President Donald Trump’s budget request.

“This legislation recognizes the complex challenges the members of our Armed Forces and intelligence community face every day throughout the world, and it aims to ensure that they are able to continue to meet these challenges and complete their missions to the best of their abilities,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense Chairman Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind.. 

“To support this forward-looking posture, the bill makes major investments in operations and maintenance, procurement, and research and development,” Visclosky said. “Most important to me personally is that this bill continues the Committee’s focus on the well-being and morale of those in uniform, their families, DoD civilians, and defense communities.”

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., said the bill provides the Defense Department with the resources necessary to “address an evolving threat landscape and to ensure the security of our nation and our allies.

“It ensures that our service members are well-trained and equipped and that they are prepared for future military needs,” Lowey said, adding, “we have the most capable and advanced military in the world, and this bill honors their mission by adequately funding programs to care for service members and their families, and by including provisions to end the Trump administration’s theft of defense funds to pay for a wasteful border wall.”

The committee approved four amendments to the bill, repealing the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force, and prohibiting the use of funds to support any use of military force against Iran, with certain exceptions.

The 2001 authorization was for the use of military force against those responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; the 2002 authorization was for the use of military force in Iraq.

The summary of the bill is here. The full text of the bill, prior to adoption of amendments in full committee, is here. The bill report is here.

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