(Updated June 27, 2019) This bill would authorize $741.5 billion in discretionary defense spending for fiscal year 2020, of which $665.7 billion would go to the base budget and $75.9 billion to Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). It would also authorize $8.4 billion for defense-related mandatory spending. The Senate amended this bill to include an authorization of FY2020 intelligence activities (which is largely classified) and require various reports for intelligence oversight purposes. An in-depth summary of how its various provisions impact troops, military families, equipment, and various aspects of U.S. defense and intelligence policy can be found below.
Troops & Families: This section of the bill would fully fund a 3.1% pay raise for the troops and set an active duty end strength of 1,339,500 soldiers, sailors, aviators, and Marines. A total of $155.8 billion would be authorized for pay, allowances, bonuses, death benefits, and permanent change of station moves.
Additionally, $18 billion would be authorized in base and OCO funding for military construction, including family housing. Within that amount, $3.6 billion would be authorized to replenish funds for previously authorized military construction projects that may be repurposed in relation to a national emergency declared on the Southern border. Another $3.3 billion would be provided for disaster recovery at military bases in Nebraska, North Carolina, and Florida.
Equipment: The acquisition and modernization of several key defense technologies would be stepped up under this bill, including:
94 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft at a cost of $10 billion.
12 new warships (including 3 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and additional Virginia class submarines) at a cost of $24.1 billion.
48 AH-64E Apache helicopters at a cost of $806.8 million.
65 Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles at a cost of $264 million, plus upgrades to the Stryker at a cost of $393.6 million.
Additionally, this section would require the Navy to carry out the nuclear refueling and complex overhaul of the aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis and USS Harry S. Truman.
Nuclear Deterrence: Defense and intelligence agencies would be required to submit a report on the nuclear capabilities of Russia and China, including Russian nuclear systems that aren’t covered by New START. This bill would extend authorizations of programs to modernization of U.S. nuclear weapons systems, including the triad of delivery systems.
Missile Defense: A total of $108 million would be authorized to fund the development of a space-based sensor layer for missile defense technologies. Funding for the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense procurement and sustainment would be transitioned from the Missile Defense Agency to the Army. Additionally, $500 million would be authorized for U.S.-Israeli cooperative missile defense programs such as the Iron Dome, Arrow 3, and David’s Sling programs.
Space: This bill would establish the Space Force within the Air Force, and continue procurement of equipment for national security space launch programs.
Russia: This bill would authorize the extension of a joint procurement program for the Baltic nations to improve their interoperability with NATO and deter Russian aggression, in addition to expressing support for the increased persistent presence of U.S. forces in the Republic of Poland. The use of funds for activities that would include the recognition of Crimea under Russian sovereignty would be prohibited.
Additionally, delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey would be prohibited if it acquires the S-400 air and missile defense system from Russia.
In the event that the U.S. initiated a withdrawal from NATO, this bill would prohibit the use of funds for withdrawal for one year.
China: This section of the bill would authorize an increase in the Dept. of Defense’s ability to produce rare earth elements from coal ash, a market currently dominated by China.
The bill would authorize research into transformational weapon systems, like hypersonics and directed energy, to keep up with competition from Russia and China. It would also require reports on academic institutions in Russia and China associated with defense programs to prevent their undue influence in American university research.
North Korea: This bill would prohibit the reduction of U.S. forces stationed in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) below 28,500 due to the continued threat posed by North Korea’s conventional forces and weapons of mass destruction.
This bill would also express support for deeper trilateral defense coordination and cooperation between the U.S., Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
Counterterrorism: This bill would extend authorities to provide assistance to Iraqi Security Forces and vetted Syrian groups to counter ISIS through 2020. It would support the temporary detention and repatriation of ISIS foreign terrorists.
As an authorization rather than an appropriations bill, this legislation sets out spending guidelines rather than allowing money to be actually spent. Funding will be provided by subsequent appropriations legislation.
Intelligence Authorization: This section would authorize funding for intelligence agencies in FY2020. Funding levels under this section are classified, but it would also require the Intelligence Community (IC) to produce a number of reports regarding:
Cooperative actions to detect and counter foreign influence operations.
Comprehensive economic assessments of investment in key U.S. industries by companies & organizations linked to China.
Cyber attacks against U.S. election infrastructure, strategy for countering such threats by Russia and other nations, and notifications of intrusions.
The foreign employment of former U.S. IC personnel.
Foreign influence in academia.
Iranian support for foreign military and terrorist activities.
5G wireless network technologies.
Major IC initiatives in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Possible exploitation of virtual currencies by terrorist actors.
Sources of North Korean revenue.
Surveillance threats to Congress.
The death of dissident Jamal Khashoggi.