|Norm Dicks' Statement on the FY12 Defense Appropriations Bill|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 31st, 2011
CONTACT: Ryan Nickel | (202) 225-3481
WASHINGTON- House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rep. Norm Dicks made the following comments after release of the FY2012 Defense bill text:
"Today the Majority has unveiled the Defense Appropriations bill, which continues the work we started of funding the operations at the Department of Defense. As always, it's been an honor to work with my good friend, colleague and Chairman of the Subcommittee, Bill Young. I'm happy to report that the bill provides adequate funds to support our troops both at home and in the field. It also makes the necessary investments needed in research and development, and equipment acquisition.
"Overall the Majority's approach to the defense budget has been reasonable. I only wish that the same approach would be taken with the non-defense portion of the discretionary budget. In a recent speech to the Heritage Foundation, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, 'Buck' McKeon, encouraged Washington to avoid 'penny-wise, pound foolish' budgeting; to make the necessary investments to ensure that America continues to lead the world; to cut with a 'scalpel rather than a sword'; and avoid symbolic cuts that won't 'dent the deficit.'
"Unfortunately he was only talking about defense spending. Since the beginning of this congress I've encouraged my Republican friends to apply this very same logic across the entire discretionary budget. Republicans on the Committee recently approved subcommittee allocations that have dangerously low funding levels for the non-defense portion of the budget, requiring devastating cuts to vital programs and if enacted, have a severe impact on our economy.
"In closing, it's important the Appropriations Committee maintains its reputation as the Committee that gets its work done. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'll do whatever I can to assist in the procedure of this year's Appropriations bills and I look forward to our continued work on the Defense bill."
Below is a brief summary of funding levels and other key provisions in the Defense Bill:
Total Allocation: $530 billion | -$8.9 billion below the President's FY2012 request | $17 billion above the FY2011 enacted level.
Ongoing Military Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq: The bill provides $118.7 billion total, which is $841 million above the President's request and -$39 billion below FY2011 enacted. Most of these funds, $86.3 billion, are for military pay and support operations for troops in the field. Language is maintained in this portion of the bill that prohibits torture and construction of permanent bases in either country. Also of note:
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles: The bill provides $3.2 billion, consistent with the President's request.
Training Afghanistan Security Forces: The bill provides $12.8 billion, consistent with the President's request to train Afghani forces in preparation for security hand-over.
Military Pay: $5.4 billion above last year's level. This includes a pay raise of 1.6%, as well as a comparable housing and subsistence raise.
Defense Health Program: The bill provides $32.3 billion, which is $119 million above President's request and $935 million above FY2011 enacted. Also of note:
Mental Health: The bill includes $125 million above the President's request to continue the Committee's longstanding efforts to improve treatment and research of traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.
Cancer Research: The bill includes $223 million for several peer-reviewed research efforts, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer research.
Procurement: The bill provides $107.6 billion, -$6.8 billion below the President's request and $5.5 billion above FY2011 enacted.
Research and Development: The bill provides $73 billion, -$2.3 billion below the request and -$1.9 billion below FY2011 enacted.