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Hearing of the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee - FY 2012 Defense Appropriations Bill Before Full Committee


Location: Washington, DC

"The fiscal year 2012 Department of Defense base budget recommendation before us today is $530 billion, which is $8.9 billion below the request. The overseas contingency operations recommendation is $118.7 billion, which is $842 million above the request. This increase is mostly attributable to the transfer of the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund from the State/Foreign Operations Subcommittee to the Defense Subcommittee.

"To reach the reduced base allocation of $530 billion, the Subcommittee reviewed in detail the budget request, and found areas and programs where reductions are possible without adversely impacting the warfighter or readiness.

"Examples of such reductions include: programs which have been terminated or restructured since the budget was submitted; savings from favorable contract pricing adjustments; contract and schedule delays resulting in fiscal year 2012 savings; unjustified cost increases or funding requested ahead of need; anticipated or historical under-execution; rescissions of unneeded prior year funds; and reductions that are authorized in the House passed fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

"Now, let me highlight some details of the subcommittee's recommendation:

* $15.1 billion for the construction of ten Navy ships;
* $5.9 billion for 32 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft (19 Air Force, 7 Navy, 6 Marine Corps), and $2.7 billion for continued development and testing;
* $3.3 billion for 28 F-18 Super Hornets and 12 EA-18 Growlers;
* $2.8 billion for 116 H-60 Blackhawk helicopters (71 Army, 42 Navy, and 3 Air Force); and
* $699 million for 48 MQ-9 Reaper UAVs.

"Some highlights of subcommittee recommended increases include:

* +$885 million for unrealistic Operation and Maintenance efficiencies;
* +$1.5 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment;
* +$610 million for Service identified unfunded requirements, including $239 million for SOCOM; and
* +$633 million for military medical research, including +$223 million for cancer research and +$125 million for Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury (PH/TBI).

"Some highlights of subcommittee recommended reductions include:

* -$435 million in savings from contract and production delays in the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM);
* -$524 million in program delay savings for the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMAARS);
* -$1.7 billion in unneeded prior year funds; and
* -$1.3 billion for improved economic assumptions.

"Finally, while the bill does not provide any funds for the military operations in Libya, it does shift $5 billion in anticipated excess Army Operation and Maintenance OCO funds to an OCO Transfer Fund. This will provide the Department with some added flexibility to execute its overseas contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It was a difficult task to write this bill $9 billion below the request, but we did so smartly and effectively. I would have preferred -- and indeed I was fighting for -- a higher number for Defense. But in this time of financial crisis that our nation is facing, no one should be exempt from tightening their fiscal belts -- and on the Defense subcommittee, we must do so smartly and carefully, making sure to not impact the warfighter or their mission.

"I committed long ago that that I would never write or support a bill which adversely affected any soldier or had an adverse affect on our nation's readiness. I firmly believe I have kept that promise with the bill before us today."

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