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house Bill H.R. 1735

A Plan for National Defense Spending in FY 2016

Argument in favor

National defense is the federal government’s primary responsibility, and increasing funding from the previous fiscal year recognizes increased demands on our military.

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05/13/2015
I'm voting"yes" because I want my country protected and our men and women in uniform safe, supplied, and trained. However, a Defense Appropriations Bill is very complex and there's no way to know how spending priorities line up with our National Security Strategy and other strategies which would demand a line-item "yea/nay" vote within the greater bill. I ask my reps to get to know the bill before voting for it.
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05/13/2015
Even though I would support a reduction in defense spending, I realize the world we live in. There is increasing threats to the United States and our allies from other countries and terrorist groups. We must protect ourselves and our country, but we also must look at areas where we can reduce and streamline services.
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Jackie's Opinion
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05/13/2015
If we do not keep our borders secure, we are opening the door to Terrorist to flood into our Nation ... We will then have terror in our Nation. Please keep this bill on tract to past
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Argument opposed

Defense spending is one of the most bloated parts of our government. This plan gives money to programs that don't want it, and to programs that should be cut altogether.

Taret's Opinion
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05/12/2015
We spend more money on defense than the next dozen countries combined. The military budget is bloated and desperately needs to be cut. Please don't assume this means I don't support our troops, the simple fact is that everyone needs to balance their budget, one section of the government shouldn't get a free-reign when it comes to funding. If we set a cap of just spending at least three times as much as China (The next after the US in terms of funding) we'd still be saving hundreds of billions of dollars that can be appropriated to other projects like NASA or infrastructure.
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Wendy's Opinion
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05/12/2015
We spend as much as the next 12 countries combined. They don't need any more money.
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Kelly's Opinion
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05/12/2015
This budget increases spending. We need to stop funding congressional pet projects that the military says they don't need. In doing so, that will reduce military spending.
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bill Progress


  • Vetoed
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate Passed October 7th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 70 Yea / 27 Nay
  • The house Passed October 1st, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 270 Yea / 156 Nay
      house Committees
      Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities
      Committee on Armed Services
      Tactical Air and Land Forces
      Military Personnel
      Readiness
      Seapower and Projection Forces
      Strategic Forces
    IntroducedApril 13th, 2015

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What is House Bill H.R. 1735?

This bill would authorize appropriations for national defense spending for fiscal year 2016. As an authorization, not an appropriation, this bill does not give defense agencies the power to spend — but it does lay down the foundation for future bills that will give the government real money to spend.  

The goal of this bill is authorize a total of $611.8 billion for defense spending with:

The bill matches the Obama administration's requests for defense spending, but ignores many of the President's proposals.  

The biggest rejections come in the form of funding for aircraft. The House Armed Services Committee rejected the Pentagon's request to retire an A-10 attack jet aircraft. Instead, the Thunderbolt II — commonly known as the “Warthog” — would have its funding restored ($682.7 million). The Navy would also receive 12 additional F/A 18 Super Hornets, and the Marine Corps would get 6 more F-35B Joint-Strike Fighters. These are additional aircraft than were requested for a total of $2.15 billion between the two programs. 

Other requests from that Pentagon that were ignored: The authorization to close some military bases to cut funding have been rejected. A 2.3 percent pay raise for troops (instead of the Pentagon's requested 1 percent) have been slotted into this bill. 

This authorization would also make major changes to how the military retirement system functions, starting in 2018. One such change would be how the Dept. of Defense matches contributions for military members to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The new matching would (the DOD hopes) encourage service members to contribute more to the TSP — reducing their taxable income. 

Other areas that would have increased funding from the President's plan include:

  • Service-members’ housing allowance, 
  • Missile defense cooperation with Israel,
  • Upgrades to the H-60 Blackhawk, the Stryker vehicle, and the C-130,
  • Increased logistical operations to meet readiness objectives. 
The Tomahawk missile program would also have its funding restored, despite attempts to end the program. This bill also funds the accelerated development of a new U.S. rocket propulsion system to be used for space exploration.

Impact

Everyone who benefits from U.S. national security — including average citizens; members of the U.S. military; federal agencies that receive funding through this legislation, particularly the Department of Defense.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1735

$1.10 Trillion
The CBO estimates that this legislation would lead to $1.099 trillion in spending over the 2016-2025 period.

More Information

In-Depth: The House Armed Services Committee passed this bill on a bipartisan 60-2 vote. The committee's proposal matches the President’s request of $611.9 billion annually, and there are still $7.7 billion in authorizations outside of the Committee’s jurisdiction. But while the President and the House may agree on an overall funding level, President Obama has issued a veto threat for this legislation (as he has for the past six years) if Congress doesn't comply with his request to raise discretionary spending caps for domestic programs.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 authorized $600 billion in spending. While it first passed the House on a 325-98 vote in May 2014, the House and Senate could not agree on a final version until December 2014. That's all to say these lags are nothing new. In the end, the final version of the FY 2015 NDAA authorized $585 billion in total spending, $521.3 billion of which was discretionary spending, with $63.7 billion set aside for Overseas Contingency Operations.

Major critiques of the bill generally focus on less than transparent funding. The National Priorities Project explains: 

"Congress is ignoring its own budget caps by pouring money into a Pentagon slush fund with little oversight or accountability. The current proposal [allots] about $90 billion in off-the-books spending through the use of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Fund – the war fund for Iraq and Afghanistan that has since become a catch-all slush fund for any Pentagon expenses that don’t fit within the caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. The OCO slush fund isn’t subject to budget caps, but that doesn’t stop it from contributing to the nation’s deficit."

On the other side, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) noted on the passage of this bill through committee: 

“This year’s NDAA will begin a process of much needed reform to the Department of Defense. These reforms are designed to recruit and retain America’s best and brightest, ensure that our forces maintain their technological edge, and to balance resources from the ‘tail’ to the ‘tooth’ of the force."
Other provisions of the bill include: 

Roughly $4 billion in savings would be gained from using un-obligated funds and eliminating a foreign currency fluctuation account that stored excess funds. No longer paying an excessive base price for fuel is projected to save $1.6 billion.

A development project for a long-range strike bomber would receive $460 million less in fiscal year 2016, most of which it would’ve been unable to spend in that period due to contract delays. The program that funds the Air Force’s tanker would be funded at a level $224 million lower than anticipated, which is the maximum level the Air Force can actually spend in fiscal year. Because the A-10 Warthog would still be operational under this legislation, $79.6 million in training expenses would be saved by delaying the Air Force’s transition from the A-10 to the F-15E.


Media:


Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Flickr user DVIDSHUB

AKA

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016

Official Title

An act to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2016 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

    I'm voting"yes" because I want my country protected and our men and women in uniform safe, supplied, and trained. However, a Defense Appropriations Bill is very complex and there's no way to know how spending priorities line up with our National Security Strategy and other strategies which would demand a line-item "yea/nay" vote within the greater bill. I ask my reps to get to know the bill before voting for it.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    We spend more money on defense than the next dozen countries combined. The military budget is bloated and desperately needs to be cut. Please don't assume this means I don't support our troops, the simple fact is that everyone needs to balance their budget, one section of the government shouldn't get a free-reign when it comes to funding. If we set a cap of just spending at least three times as much as China (The next after the US in terms of funding) we'd still be saving hundreds of billions of dollars that can be appropriated to other projects like NASA or infrastructure.
    Like (48)
    Follow
    Share
    We spend as much as the next 12 countries combined. They don't need any more money.
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    This budget increases spending. We need to stop funding congressional pet projects that the military says they don't need. In doing so, that will reduce military spending.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Even though I would support a reduction in defense spending, I realize the world we live in. There is increasing threats to the United States and our allies from other countries and terrorist groups. We must protect ourselves and our country, but we also must look at areas where we can reduce and streamline services.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    This is an increase in possible funds to the military, which not only ignores the budget (what's the point of a budget if it's not followed?) but also acquires a number of crafts for the Armed Services, many of which are not requested. It's time that we begin to step away from Imperialism, and downsizing our military is a big step towards that.
    Like (9)
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    The defense budget the greatest deficit producing item we have. JUST STOP IT! Spend $$$ on domestic programs: social security, Medicare, infrastructure. No increases are needed ever!!!
    Like (5)
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    Unfortunately, it is a dangerous world. Keeping the military strong has to be a priority, and taking care of the soldiers is the right thing to do.
    Like (5)
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    If we do not keep our borders secure, we are opening the door to Terrorist to flood into our Nation ... We will then have terror in our Nation. Please keep this bill on tract to past
    Like (3)
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    If cutting government spending is your platform then why are we sending more money to war? Moronic behavior.
    Like (3)
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    We always cut the wrong thing. Cut the nukes, cut the spending on officer's pensions, do away with the VA hospitals & give vets benefits to obtain private care. Cut the waste. Leave our soldiers alone.
    Like (3)
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    Increase funding? The Government is doing things like re-developing the A-10, which the Military is PISSED about. They want F-16s over A-10s because the A-10 is an aged platform. Get this crap out of military spending, then we can talk numbers.
    Like (3)
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    We already spend way too much on military. This would cost an additional 1.1 trillion dollars, absolutely a no
    Like (2)
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    With the world like it is. I usually would say we need a lower defense budget. However, due to more circumstances the U.S. Need a strong military and a smart budget to help the military. Now they didn't do everything they could and yes they added some unnecessary spending but the budget does help out for the months ahead. The budget has my support
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    Invest the money into the safety net, infrastructure, healthcare. We don't need to waste money like that. Military industrial complex needs major downsizing.
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    The DOD protects the U.S. And it's interest. Money spent goes to US companies who employ Americans. Salaries are paid to American patriots. All pay taxes on income. 100% more important and useful than the governments social welfare and war on poverty which has created a large, non working, non tax paying and often drug and violent thug class.
    Like (2)
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    Our national defense SHOULD be a priority. National defense and interstate commerce are the TWO things that the constitution lays out as federal responsibilities. About time the folks in DC re-read the Constitution and played by the rules!
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    Maybe this spending will make up for previous budget cuts
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    My opinion shouldn't even be necessary. The world has never been more dangerous. And we, The USA, have NEVER been more less ready militarily. We could fight a war on two fronts on a bet. Which if you think about how would've WWII tired out. We'd have had to choose between the European Theater or the Pacific Theater. Or spread our forces so thin we'd be speaking either...well let's leave it at that.
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    of course I want my money going to my country's defense and keeping the people of America safe. I'm very proud that my money is NOT going to some homeless drug addict welfare recipient who claims to have some type of "hold" on my hard earned money.
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