Chairman Frelinghuysen Steers Defense Funding Bill through House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), the only member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to chair a full House Committee, today steered the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill, H.R. 1301, through the House by a vote of 371-48. The bill will now be considered by the Senate.

The bill funds military operations overseas, increases the purchase of state-of-the-art aircraft and ships and improves readiness of our troops to meet global threats.  The measure also provides for a 2.1% pay raise for our troops and strengthens the various health programs for military personnel and their families.  In addition, H.R 1301 enhances New Jersey’s contributions to our national security.

“Our nation faces serious new challenges across the world.  Our troops are serving with honor in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan, the Baltics and Africa,” Frelinghuysen said. “The rebuilding of our military starts today and I applaud the House for passing it with such a strong bipartisan vote.”

In addition to providing base operating funds for New Jersey’s military installations, Picatinny Arsenal, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Naval Weapons Station Earle and the 177th Fighter Wing in Atlantic City, the legislation includes funding that will boost New Jersey’s military contributions.  For example, H.R. 1301 contains new funding to allow scientists, engineers and technicians at Picatinny Arsenal, the DOD Joint Center of Excellence for Armaments, to accelerate their urgent work to ensure that our weapons systems overmatch those of our adversaries.  The bill also includes funding to expand production of the new KC-146 Pegasus air refueling tankers that will be stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst beginning in 2020, enhancing the future missions of the New Jersey base. 

To protect New Jersey residents at home and abroad, the measure includes $1.9 billion above the President’s budget for key readiness programs to prepare forces, including the National Guard and Reserve, for peace-time missions and potential overseas operations in the United States.

“Protecting the strength and sustainability of New Jersey’s unique military installations is critical to all of our Armed Forces,” Frelinghuysen said. “Supporting these bases is vital to both our national defense and our state’s historical support for national security.  Beyond a doubt, they are essential to our economy, our national security, and our future.”

In total, H.R. 1301 provides $577.9 billion, an increase of $5.2 billion over current spending and $1.6 billion more than the Obama Administration sought in its last budget request. This includes $516.1 billion in base discretionary funding – an increase of $2 billion above current levels – and $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding – $3.2 billion above current levels. When combined with the $5.8 billion in supplemental funding enacted in the December Continuing Resolution, total Defense funding for fiscal year 2017 is $583.7 billion, an increase of $10.9 billion over fiscal year 2016.