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house Bill H.R. 5515

Authorizing $708 Billion in Defense Spending for FY2019 (Conference Report)

Argument in favor

Congress’s foremost constitutional duty to provide for the national defense. While this bipartisan bill is a compromise, it will strengthen the military at a time when global threats are increasing and funding is hard to come by.

Bev's Opinion
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05/23/2018
If we are not militarily strong in the World---nothing else matters
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JTJ's Opinion
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05/24/2018
This IS appropriate use of our tax dollars.
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Joseph's Opinion
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05/23/2018
Our men and women in uniform need the top equipment and protection to stay safe while keeping us safe.
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Argument opposed

The U.S. shouldn’t be spending over $700 billion on national defense, an amount significantly outpacing America’s most significant rivals. A smaller military would free up funding for other priorities.

Zain's Opinion
···
05/20/2018
Who are we fighting? Eisenhower warned us about this 60 years ago. The leech of the military-industrial complex has been sapping resources from the American people for too long. Please Congress, Vote NO on this enormous budget and spend more on the American people.
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Mark's Opinion
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05/24/2018
A strong military is certainly important for national security, but when we outspend the next top military’s combined at the expense of our own people’s education and basic utilities it becomes excessive. If this were purely a discussion about national security we would be discussing protecting our elections from foreign influence, protecting the Mueller investigation, supporting our allies, retaliation against Russia and impeachment of the President of the United States.
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OlderNWiser's Opinion
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05/21/2018
We have always poured vast sums of money into so-called defense while increasingly now ignoring real and urgent needs of our people and our planet. The military parade is another ploy of a wannabe fascist dictator who has filled the Cabinet with warmongers, the majority of whom have never seen war, nor lost a child to war. While we deny refugees with unimaginable suffering sanctuary to our country, we line the pockets of the arms dealers, support immoral wars, oppression of suffering people, and wave the flag calling that patriotism. Patriotism is taking care of our military, our farmers, all our people, not oppressing everyone for the increased wealth of the few. Our real risk is the wannabe dictator in the White House who is packing the Court with idealogues to destroy our freedom. Would an enemy country like Russia perhaps want to install #45 to create precisely this chaos and devastation of people and the environment from within?
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bill Progress


  • EnactedAugust 13th, 2018
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed August 1st, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 87 Yea / 10 Nay
  • The house Passed July 26th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 359 Yea / 54 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, 2018

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What is House Bill H.R. 5515?

(Updated 7/25/18): After the House and Senate each passed their own versions of this bill, Congress produced this conference report by compromising on differences between the bills. In its current form, this bill — the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2019 — would authorize $708.1 billion in discretionary defense spending for FY19. Of the total, $639.1 billion would go to the base budget while $69 billion would be set aside for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). An in-depth summary of how its various provisions impact troops, military families, equipment, and various aspects of U.S. defense policy can be found below.

RESOURCES

Troops & Families: This section of the bill would fully fund a 2.6 percent pay raise for the troops and increase the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard. The Career Intermission Program — which allows servicemembers to take a break from active service to pursue personal interests, family needs, professional education, or career opportunities — would be made permanent.

Additionally, the bill would expand the Dept. of Defense’s (DOD) ability to award constructive service credit (which helps a servicemember or recruit attain a higher rank) for those entering the military with advanced education, experience, and training. Under this bill no military medical treatment facility would be closed or downgraded until all facilities are transitioned to the Defense Health Agency.

The bill would authorize the DOD to carry out a military parade to honor America’s veterans, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice to end World War I. The use of operational units or equipment in a military parade would be prohibited if the Defense Secretary believes such use will hamper readiness.

Readiness: This section of the bill would increase funding for training in each service: the Army will send twice as many Brigade Combat Teams to the Combat Training Center; funding for flying hours would be increased by $17.8 million; and the Navy’s readiness inspections would be required to be conducted on a no-notice basis going forward.

A total of $21.8 billion would go toward equipment maintenance while $3.7 billion would go to spare parts (of which $2.8 billion would be for aircraft parts for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force).

Equipment: The acquisition and modernization of several key defense technologies would be stepped up under this bill, including:

  • 77 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters as requested in the president’s budget;

  • $225.3 million for Stryker A1 combat vehicles (the most advanced & survivable version of the Stryker);

  • An additional $150 million would be provided to accelerate U.S. efforts to field a conventional prompt strike capability before fiscal year 2022 in response to advances Russia and China have made in developing hypersonic weapons;

  • An additional $105 million would be provided for EQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems;

  • An additional $65 million would be provided for modernizing the A-10 Warthog fleet;

  • The modernization of 135 M1 Abrams tanks, 60 Bradley fighting vehicles, 197 Armored multi-purpose vehicles, 38 Improved Recovery Vehicles, and 3,390 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles would be authorized;

  • Multi-year procurement authorities would be authorized for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft, C-130 Super Hercules aircraft, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft, advanced missiles, and amphibious ships to generate better cost savings;

  • The Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine and the B-21 Raider bomber programs would be fully funded;

  • The accelerated construction of the fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier, two additional Littoral Combat Ships, and two additional Virginia-class attack submarines would be supported in fiscal years 2022 and 2023;

STRATEGIC READINESS

Nuclear Deterrence: This section would authorize funding for the president’s budget request to restore the nuclear arsenal and add $325 million for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s efforts to modernize the nuclear weapons stockpile and related infrastructure. It would implement the recommendation of the Nuclear Posture Review to pursue a lower-yield ballistic missile warhead to strengthen deterrence. Additionally, it’d provide increased funding for two of the Air Force’s nuclear modernization programs: the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent and the Long-Range Standoff cruise missile.

Missile Defense:  This section would authorize funding for the president’s budget request for missile defense and provide an additional $140 million to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for development of critical directed energy and space sensing projects, and the acceleration of hypersonic defense capabilities. Additionally, this section would:

  • Add $175 million to accelerate the integration of Patriot (for lower altitudes) and THAAD (higher altitude) missiles to meet the requirements of the Commander of U.S. Forces in Korea.

  • Require the MDA establish a boost phase intercept program using kinetic interceptors, initiate development of a missile defense tracking and discrimination space sensor layer, and continue efforts to develop high power directed energy for missile defense applications.

  • Require the MDA to continue development for the homeland defense radar in Hawaii and that it be operationally capable by fiscal year 2023.

  • Provide increased funding to address cyber threats to missile defense systems.

  • Support the president’s request of $500 million for co-development of missile defense systems with Israel, including co-production of Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow weapons systems.

Space Warfighting: This section of the bill would require the DOD to develop a plan for the establishment of a separate alternative acquisition process for Space acquisitions. It would also:

  • Require the Air Force to develop a plan to increase the size of the Space cadre within the Air Force.

  • Establish a sub-unified command for Space under the Strategic Command for carrying out joint Space warfighting.

  • Require the DOD to develop a plan that identifies joint mission-essential tasks for Space as a warfighting domain.

  • Support the president’s request for Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Protected Satellite Communications, and the Air Force’s Space launch efforts.

ADDRESSING THREATS

Russia: Funding for Open Skies Treaty aircraft (unarmed overflights by signatory nations to promote arms control) would be withheld until Russia complies with the Treaty and takes other steps, such as extraditing Russian nationals who have been indicted for meddling in the 2016 elections. Funding would be provided for research and development to counter weapons being deployed by Russia that violate the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.

This section would also:

  • Modify waivers under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions to help current U.S. strategic partners & allies whose militaries currently use Russian-made equipment as they transition to using American equipment.

  • Prohibit military-to-military cooperation with Russia, levy new sanctions on the Russian arms industry, and prohibit U.S. recognition of the absorption of Crimea into the Russian Federation.

  • Authorize $250 million for lethal defensive items for Ukraine.

  • Authorize U.S. Special Operations Command programs and activities, including in Eastern Europe.

  • Fund the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) at a level of $6.3 billion to increase the number of U.S. troops in Europe and deter Russia. EDI funding for wartime material would be included in the base budget.

China:  This section of the bill would establish a “whole-of-government” strategy to confront the People’s Republic of China, while bolstering DOD’s efforts to provide military forces, infrastructure, and logistics capabilities in the region through the Indo-Pacific Stability Initiative. Maritime security cooperation through the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative would be increased in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean.

It’d also:

  • Prohibit any U.S. government agencies from using technology produced by Huawei or ZTE, two companies which are linked to the Chinese Communist Party’s intelligence arm.

  • Support the improvement of Taiwan’s defense capabilities through joint training, foreign military sales, the use of security cooperation authorities, and senior-level military-to-military engagement initiatives with Taiwan.

  • Instruct the president to designate a National Security Council official on the staff of the National Security Council to coordinate a whole-of-government response to foreign influence campaigns against the U.S.

  • Require the DOD to submit a 5-year plan for an Indo-Pacific Stability Initiative.

  • Require a public report on the military and coercive activities of China in the South China Sea and encourages the DOD to require the public release of declassified aircraft-generated imagery illustrating Chinese activities of concern.

  • Modify the annual report on Chinese military and security developments to include efforts to influence media, cultural institutions, business, and policy communities in the U.S.

  • Extend authority for the Maritime Security Initiative for an additional 5 years, include Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as recipients of assistance and training, and add India as a covered country eligible for payment of certain expenses.

  • Limit DOD funds for Chinese language programs at universities that host a Confucius Institute.

North Korea: This section of the bill would aim to ensure U.S. forces are prepared for a potential conflict on the Korean Peninsula, including their readiness to counter North Korean use of chemical or biological weapons. It would express support for regional missile defense exercises to improve interoperability. It would fully fund the president’s budget request for the Army’s precision strike missile program.

Additionally, this section of the bill would:

  • Express that the U.S. stands behind its treaty obligations and extended nuclear deterrence commitments, and that the U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula should remain strong and enduring.

  • Prohibit the use of DOD funds to reduce the number of American personnel deployed to South Korea below 22,000 unless the secretary certifies that it’s in the national security interest, that it won’t hurt allies’ security, and that allies such as South Korea & Japan have been notified.

Counterterrorism: This section of the bill would reauthorize several funds used to aid partners and allies in counterterrorism efforts including the Counter ISIS Train and Equip fund, the Syria Train and Equip Authority, and the Coalition Support Fund. The Afghan Security Forces Fund would be reauthorized to support their fight against the Taliban and ISIS Khorasan, as would security cooperation with the government of Iraq to consolidate gains against ISIS.

U.S. Special Operations Command programs and activities would be reauthorized, including ongoing efforts in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Eastern Europe.

Iran: This section would increase oversight related to several defense items critical to deterring Iran, including:

  • Countermine assets and munitions stockpiles;

  • Cooperation to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS or drones);

  • Patriot missiles and regional missile defense assets;

  • The accelerated development of a new Ford-class aircraft carrier to enhance regional force posture;

  • Layered missile defense of the U.S. homeland.

Security Cooperation: This section of the bill contains several provisions related to security cooperation authorities and equipment sales to foreign militaries, including:

  • The DOD would be required to report on options for integrating Foreign Military Sales (FMS) into defense acquisition planning to holistically support national security goals and the defense industry. It would also report on improving, consolidating, and streamlining missile defense sales.

As an authorization rather than appropriations bill, this legislation sets out spending guidelines rather than allowing money to be actually spent. Funding will be provided by subsequent appropriations legislation.

Impact

Members of the U.S. military, their families, and retirees; foreign allies of the U.S. military; and the DOD or other affected agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5515

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have a negligible impact on the federal budget, because it is an authorization rather than appropriations bill.

More Information

In-DepthSenators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep Mac Thornberry (R-TX) offered the following statement about this bill:

“The FY19 NDAA will help provide our men and women in uniform the resources and tools they need to face today’s increasingly complex and dangerous world. This legislation will strengthen our military’s readiness, provide our troops a pay raise, support effective implementation of the National Defense Strategy, drive further innovation in emerging technologies to secure our military advantage, and continue to reform the Department of Defense…
The FY19 NDAA carries on Congress’s long, proud tradition of bipartisanship when it comes to delivering on behalf of our military. We thank each of the conferees for their hard work and thoughtful collaboration. As this legislation moves toward final passage and to the President’s desk, we are confident it will continue to represent how our government can and should function—and serve as a model of how we can work together to solve problems and defend our great nation.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Navy Photo / iStock)

AKA

John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019

Official Title

To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2019 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.

    If we are not militarily strong in the World---nothing else matters
    Like (124)
    Follow
    Share
    Who are we fighting? Eisenhower warned us about this 60 years ago. The leech of the military-industrial complex has been sapping resources from the American people for too long. Please Congress, Vote NO on this enormous budget and spend more on the American people.
    Like (696)
    Follow
    Share
    A strong military is certainly important for national security, but when we outspend the next top military’s combined at the expense of our own people’s education and basic utilities it becomes excessive. If this were purely a discussion about national security we would be discussing protecting our elections from foreign influence, protecting the Mueller investigation, supporting our allies, retaliation against Russia and impeachment of the President of the United States.
    Like (376)
    Follow
    Share
    We have always poured vast sums of money into so-called defense while increasingly now ignoring real and urgent needs of our people and our planet. The military parade is another ploy of a wannabe fascist dictator who has filled the Cabinet with warmongers, the majority of whom have never seen war, nor lost a child to war. While we deny refugees with unimaginable suffering sanctuary to our country, we line the pockets of the arms dealers, support immoral wars, oppression of suffering people, and wave the flag calling that patriotism. Patriotism is taking care of our military, our farmers, all our people, not oppressing everyone for the increased wealth of the few. Our real risk is the wannabe dictator in the White House who is packing the Court with idealogues to destroy our freedom. Would an enemy country like Russia perhaps want to install #45 to create precisely this chaos and devastation of people and the environment from within?
    Like (326)
    Follow
    Share
    The Pentagon, until just recently, has NEVER been audited. The indication is that there is in excess of $20 TRILLION dollars over he last two decades that has gone unaccounted for. That alone would be enough to question the need for channeling another $700 B into defense. We have on the order of 8oo military outposts in over 120 countries worldwide... Why? To what end? How do we rationalize this kind of profligacy when our infrastructure at home is is serious decline?... income inequality is the most stark and unbalanced sine the 1930s.... Our Veterans are being poorly served at home.... We have yet to provide an adequate and suitable health-care system for ALL of our people..... Our public education is chronically strapped for funding. But somehow we can still find $705 B to pump up the DoD, (and let's call it by a more appropriate name...Department of War)? How much of this expense ends up in the pocket of MIC CEOs, gaming the budget and sandbagging their invoices? Might it be enough to pay our troops better than we do? Or maybe we could actually address some of our domestic issues rather than a new system of robotic killing machines? Who are we?.... What have we become when this is our priority for our budget?
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    I'll let Dwight D. Eisenhower summarize my opinion: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. . . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
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    This is overspending we do not need. By creating huge debts and deficits, you undermine the very national security you purport to protect with this inflated and unnecessary defense spending. Get your fiscal house in order before you wreck it all. Thank you.
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    UNLESS YOU REPEAL THE TOTALLY UNNECESSARY TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH AND BIG BUSINESS, WE CANNOT AFFORD THIS! DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT CUTTING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE, FOR WHICH WE PAY, OR CHIP OR MEDICAID OR FOOD STAMPS! YOU ARE NOT BUYING BIG EXPENSIVE MILITARY TOYS BY LETTING OUR CHILDREN AND OLD PEOPLE AND POOR PEOPLE GO HUNGRY AND SICK!
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    $708 BILLION!!!! How about carving out a few billion to pay back the money “borrowed from “ Social Security and Medicare. How about funding Medicare for all? Who is making money on this $708 BILLION?
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    Unless funding is taken out of the bill for trumps ego building parade. The military is not this 5x draft dodging coward to play with like some dictator. Btw in the matter of shear kill power we are number one, number of ships no but super carriers we have almost double of other countries. There is no need for that much Defence spending. TheGOP is trying to compensate for the lack of you know what. That money would be better spent on infrastructure and our failing power grid.
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    This IS appropriate use of our tax dollars.
    Like (43)
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    By spending too much money on defense we are stealing from social programs. We need to cut the Pentagon's budget, even though they and the defense companies have powerful lobbies. We could spend some of the money saved on educating people who work in defense jobs. "Does the number of warships we have, and are building, really put America at risk, when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined — 11 of which are our partners and allies? Is it a dire threat that by 2020, the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?" ― US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
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    Our men and women in uniform need the top equipment and protection to stay safe while keeping us safe.
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    The military parade should be cancelled. Trump does not deserve an expensive, or even a cheap, military parade. And the wealthy should be REQUIRED to pay their FAIR share of military spending. And we must NOT cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP and other financing to aid the poorer citizens.
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    Whose priorities are these? Not mine!
    Like (25)
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    The spending on defense is getting absurd.
    Like (23)
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    The military should be put on a very tight rein until The Pentagon accounts for the trillions it mislaid. There needs to be more accountability. There is also something obviously wrong when we outspend the total expenditure of the next 12 countries
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    Please for the future of the country put this money into education... our children are suffering, and they’re over-tested and under-supported. As a teacher it breaks my heart every day.
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    Full audit. No more till they start accounting for it all. All you are doing is putting money in the pockets of the defense contractors deep pockets.
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    We are being overtaken by the military industrial
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