Chairman Frelinghuysen's Statement on Passage of Defense Title of Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY2015

“The Defense Title of H.R. 83, the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 meets the two goals I set at the first hearing our Defense Appropriations Subcommittee held earlier this year. 

“First, it ensures that our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to defend our nation and support their families. 

“Second, it ensures that the Department of Defense has the resources it needs to carry out their mission in the most efficient and effective manner. 

“Our legislation is a clear example of our commitment to U.S. military dominance across the air, land and sea; our commitment to our allies and partners; and our commitment to our service-members, all of whom are volunteers, and their families.”

Additional Details of the Defense Title:

FY 2015 Omnibus -Department of Defense Appropriations

The Defense Title of H.R 5230 will strengthen national security and military readiness, provide troops with the resources they need, care for military families. 

The Omnibus legislation contains the fiscal year 2015Defense Appropriations bill, which provides funding for our nation’s security, military readiness, support for our troops at home and abroad, and care for military families.

It also includes emergency funds to combat the emerging real world threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

In total, the Defense portion of the Omnibus contains $490.2billionin base discretionary funding, $3.3 billion above the fiscal year 2014 level. This bill also includes $64 billion in emergency war Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.

Ongoing Military Operations – The bill contains $64 billion in OCO funding for ongoing military operations abroad. This is a reduction of $21.2 billion compared to the fiscal year2014 enacted level – largely reflecting the drawdown of military personnel and operations in Afghanistan. This funding level will provide needed resources and training for our troops in the field. This also includes funds to combat the threat presented by ISIL –including $3.4 billion to continue the air campaign and replenish weapons and $1.6 billion to train and equip our Iraqi allies –and additional resources to help reinforce European countries facing Russian aggression.

Military Personnel and Pay –The legislation includes $128 billion to provide pay for 1,310,680 active duty troops and 820,800 reserves. This funding level is $800 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, which reflects the reduction in U.S. military force. The bill fully funds the one percent pay raise for the military and provides $215 million above the request to fully fund The cost-of-living allowance for military retirees.

Defense Health and Military Family Programs – The bill contains $32.1billion for the Defense Health Program to provide care for our troops, military families, and retirees. This is $600 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, due to increased efficiency of care within Military Treatment Facilities. Several important health programs receive increases above the  President’s request, including increases of $281million for cancer research, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $39 million for suicide prevention outreach programs.

Operation and Maintenance –The legislation includes $161.7 billion for operation and maintenance – $1.8 billion above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this amount, priority is placed on key areas such as essential readiness programs to prepare our troops for combat and peacetime missions, flight time and battle training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations. An additional $900 million above the request for Facilities Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization is included, as well as $1.2 billion to address shortfalls in military readiness, depot maintenance, and base operating support. The bill also includes $257 million for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs, and an additional $25 million to continue the expansion of the Sexual Assault Victims Counsel program to all the military services.

Research and Development – The bill contains $63.7 billion for research, development, testing and evaluation of new defense technologies. These efforts will help to advance the safety and success of current and future military operations and prepare our nation to meet a broad range of potential security threats.

Equipment Procurement – The legislation provides a total of $94 billion for new equipment and upgrades. This funding is necessary to ensure our nation’s military readiness, and will provide the platforms, weapons, and other equipment our forces need to train, maintain our force, and to conduct successful operations.

Guantanamo Bay –The legislation prohibits funding for transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. or its territories, prohibits funding to modify any facility in the U.S. to house detainees, and places conditions on the release of detainees to other countries. These provisions are similar to language contained in the fiscal year 2014 Defense Appropriations legislation.

Savings and Reductions to President’s Request –The bill reflects common-sense decisions to save taxpayer dollars where possible in areas that will not affect the safety or success of our troops and missions. Some of these reductions include: $660 million in excess civilian personnel costs; $386 million for revised economic assumptions; $270 million for overestimation of information technology costs; and $2.5billion in savings from rescissions of unused, prior-year funding.