Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012

Now, I became a big fan of the Senate Appropriations Committee since reading Charlie Wilson’s War. I enjoy reading the transcripts of the subcommittee meetings and watching/listening to the webcasts. I hope you do too!. :thumbsup:

So, allow me to present the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012. The webcast is very interesting and it shows how not fun it must have been to get this monster together.

Just a bit of background: Who’s on the subcommittee? And keep in mind, these are some of the most powerful people in Washington DC.

Democratic Subcommittee Members

Senator Daniel Inouye (Chairman) (HI)
Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
Senator Tom Harkin (IA)
Senator Richard Durbin (IL)
Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Senator Herb Kohl (WI)
Senator Patty Murray (WA)
Senator Tim Johnson (SD)
Senator Jack Reed (RI)

Republican Subcommittee Members

Senator Thad Cochran (Ranking) (MS)
Senator Mitch McConnell (KY)
Senator Richard Shelby (AL)
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
Senator Lamar Alexander (TN)
Senator Susan Collins (ME)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Senator Lindsey Graham (SC)
Senator Dan Coats (IN)

So, here’s the Press Release: … 31e55ac730

[quote]President’s Request: $656.8 billion
FY 2012 Appropriations Act: $630.6 billion
The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012 provides $630.6 billion in base and overseas contingency operation funding. The base budget appropriation is
$513.0 billion, or a spending freeze at the fiscal year 2011 level. This freeze represents a $25.9 billion reduction from the budget request, consistent with the spending cuts directed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The defense bill also contains $117.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) of the Department of Defense, the same amount requested by the President. In compliance with the earmark moratorium, the Act contains no congressionally directed spending items.[/quote]

Here’s the webcast: … f9541cec00
It takes a bit of work to identify the speakers, but it’s really kind of fun.

But, the work, the really hard stuff is getting through the whole thing: … srpt77.pdf

This bill makes appropriations for the military functions of the
Department of Defense for the period October 1, 2011, through
September 30, 2012. Functional areas include the pay, allowances,
and support of military personnel, operation and maintenance of
the forces, procurement of equipment and systems, and research,
development, test and evaluation. [/quote]

[quote]Appropriations for foreign military
assistance, military construction, family housing, nuclear
weapons programs, and civil defense are provided in other bills.[/quote]

Now I haven’t read it all as I just saw it up today, but the bonuses for joining the military are not going to be as sweet as they have been seeing that new recruits and re-ups are at or above 100% for next year.

Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will be coming home, some by the end of this year and some by Sept 2012.

[quote]The full funding includes adjustments for the drawdown of
10,000 troops from Afghanistan by December 2011, and an additional 23,000
withdrawn by the end of September 2012.[/quote]

The National Guard and Reserve are getting 500 million clams. That’s kind of worrisome. I don’t think it’s all for flood prevention.

[quote]The bill adds $500 million in the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account
to ensure that our Reserve Components are prepared for their national defense and
homeland security missions.[/quote]

Stuff getting money or more than they asked for include:[quote]
The following are examples of high-priority programs supported or increased by the bill:
 Aircraft – The bill fully funds the request for Army Chinook and Apache
helicopters; Navy P-8A Poseidon, EA-18G, and F/A-18 aircraft; Air Force Joint
Cargo Aircraft; and Air Force and Marine Corps V-22s. Funds are added for an
additional six Army Black Hawk helicopters, and $120 million is added for
efficient production of Air Force
Now the fun part here is to track down where these things are built, as in whose congressional district is it?

and this gem:[quote]
Investing in Next-Generation Weapons Systems – The bill fully funds advanced
systems including development of the Air Force Next Generation Bomber and the

Prompt Global Strike program
; fully funds the Navy Shipbuilding and Conversion
request; and production of satellites including the Advanced EHF, Space Based
Infrared System, Global Positioning System III, and the Wideband Global
Satellite.[/quote] :astonished: Ruh roh Raggy! :scooby:

And what’s getting cut, totally eliminated or rescinded:[quote]
The following are examples of some of the bill’s major reductions:
 Joint Strike Fighter – Freezes production at FY 2011 levels for FY 2012 and
reduces production ramp in FY 2013 to minimize concurrency in test and
production in order to avoid costly modification bills in the future.
 Joint Light Tactical Vehicle – Terminates the program based on excessive cost
growth, unstable requirements, and new alternatives. Savings from this program
help support Army and Marine Corps efforts to recapitalize and competitively
upgrade HMMWV fleets.
 Ground Combat Vehicle – Proposes reductions to the Army Ground Combat
Vehicle due to schedule delays and changes to the acquisition strategy.
 Defense Weather Satellite System (DWSS) – Directs the cancellation of DWSS
and provides funds for a new competitive development program.
 Mobile Landing Platform – Eliminates funding for one ship due to the
congressional acceleration of one ship in fiscal year 2011.[/quote]
And again, to hear the Senator plea for the Hummers and the JSFs on the webcast makes me really want to know where they are built.
and FYI, a Mobile landing platform is an aircraft carrier.

Anyway…this is what I do in my spare time. :laughing:

Have at it!

Army Chinook: Status: Good to go.

MILLVILLE, N.J., May 12, 2011 – Boeing received a $23.7 million contract on May 9 to perform Initial Production Fielding Support modifications on 49 CH-47F Chinook helicopters at the Boeing Millville Modification Center. The contract period extends the current work of modifying Chinook aircraft at the Boeing Millville facility for another year, from May 2011 through April 2012.[/quote]
Yay, NJ!

Say… :ponder: I wonder…
Democratic Senator:

New Jersey[/quote]
Sits on these Appropriations committees:

Homeland Security (Vice Chairman),Commerce, Justice, Science, Transportation/HUD, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, State, Foreign Operations[/quote]

And, this just in: … ml?_r=1&hp[quote]
As Washington looks to squeeze savings from once-sacrosanct entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, another big social welfare system is growing as rapidly, but with far less scrutiny: the health and pension benefits of military retirees.

Making even incremental reductions to military benefits is typically a doomed political venture, given the public’s broad support for helping troops, the political potency of veterans groups and the fact that significant savings take years to appear.

But the intense push in Congress this year to reduce the debt and the possibility that the Pentagon might have to begin trimming core programs like weapons procurement, research, training and construction have suddenly made retiree benefits vulnerable, military officials and experts say. [/quote]

“We’ve got to put everything on the table,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said recently on PBS, acknowledging that he was looking at proposals to rein in pension costs. [/quote]

I take it the veterans don’t enjoy the same representation on the committee, and don’t employ as many people in the right districts?

Oh no, they have their own subcommittee!

WASHINGTON, DC - The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved the FY 2012 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill (H.R. 2055) by a vote of 30-0. A summary of the legislation is below.
Total funding for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies is $142.029 billion for fiscal year 2012, including $72.53 billion in discretionary funding and $69.5 billion in mandatory funding.

Discretionary funding is $1.255 billion below the President’s budget request and $617.98 million below the FY11 enacted level.
The bill provides $13.7 billion for military construction and family housing, $1.049 billion below the budget request; $58.6 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2012, $181 million below the budget request; and $221.4 million for related agencies, a $25 million decrease from the request. No funding was requested or is provided in the bill for military construction related to Overseas Contingency Operations.[/quote]
Slashed here and there, but not by too much. Like the full article I linked in stated, Vet benefits are the other untouchable. … 86ad28dda3

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle: Status: Terminated

It’s hard to (quickly) find the places where these vehicles were being made. But that’s not chump change and surely some jobs will be lost.

Now, one of the very interesting things about the AC is the power to Yea or Nay a project, regardless of its backers. For example:[quote]
President Barack Obama requested $244 million for the JLTV program in his fiscal 2012 budget, all in research and development funding, up from $84.7 million in fiscal 2011 and $83.9 in fiscal 2010, according to Pentagon budget documents.

The defense subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee in June cut $50 million in JLTV funding and increased by the same amount research and development funding for Humvee “survivability enhancements.” [/quote]

Now something also interesting is the stock for GD:

Started its drop in July. Weeks after the DoD had its hearing in the Defense Sub committee.

LMT had a big drop too, but has bounced back.

Senate Committee Approves $513 Billion Defense Bill for 2012[/quote] … quest.html

[quote]A new congressional report spells out in detail how the military would become “hollow” if Congress´ supercommittee fails to agree on deficit reductions, triggering $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts.

The Army and Marine Corps would lose 200,000 troops, bringing active strength “well below” pre-Sept. 11, 2001, levels, and the armed forces would not be able to carry out its essential mission, says a 14-page analysis by the Republican majority staff of the House Armed Services Committee.

The report also says the cuts would deplete weapon systems, further degrading the fighting capabilities of the armed forces.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has warned repeatedly in recent weeks of a weakened, or hollow, military if a congressional supercommittee fails to agree on deficit reductions by Nov. 23. By law, the stalemate would require across-the-board slashing at all federal agencies, including the Pentagon.

Mr. Panetta has not offered many details, but the House analysis is now filling in the blanks.[/quote] … ry-hollow/

No more war! No blood for oil! Cut defense spending.

OK…but, there’s a but…there’s always a but.[quote]
“Resultant force structure is insufficient to decisively win an engagement in one theater while defending vital national interests in another,” states the internal report, prepared for committee chairman Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, California Republican.

“[This] jeopardizes ability to respond to potential contingencies in North Korea or Iran, and adequately defend allies [including Israel and Taiwan] and deployed U.S. forces,” the report states.[/quote]

No surprise there.

But there are a few goodies in there, the kind of thing where you go Hey, I thought the LIBERALS were in control:[quote]
the Senate unanimously backed crippling sanctions on Iran as fears about Tehran developing a nuclear weapon outweighed concerns about driving up oil prices that would hit economically strapped Americans at the gas pump. The vote was 100-0.[/quote]
Is the real fear that those idiots will just blow up all our oil in some nightmarish nuclear accident? [quote]

“Iran’s actions are unacceptable and pose a danger to the United States and the entire world,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said. “Iran supports terrorist groups, arms the killers of American soldiers, lies about its nuclear program, violates its citizens’ basic rights and threatens Israel’s security.”[/quote]
And the winner of the new badguy on the block is…

And just for all you who thought Bush was the antichrist to democracy and freedom:[quote]
In an escalating fight with the White House, the bill would ramp up the role of the military in handling terror suspects. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and FBI Director Robert Mueller both oppose the provisions as does the White House, which said it cannot accept any legislation that “challenges or constrains the president’s authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation.”[/quote]

Yes, but what does that mean? well:[quote]
The bill would require military custody of a suspect deemed to be a member of al-Qaida or its affiliates and involved in plotting or committing attacks on the United States. American citizens would be exempt. The bill does allow the executive branch to waive the authority based on national security and hold a suspect in civilian custody.

The legislation also would deny suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention.[/quote]
Yeahbut, that’s not news:[quote]
nothing in the bill changes current law relating to the detention of U.S. citizens and legal aliens. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., repeatedly pointed out that the June 2004 Supreme Court decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld said U.S. citizens can be detained indefinitely.[/quote]
you’re losing me…So?[quote]
Civil rights groups fiercely oppose the bill.

“Since the bill puts military detention authority on steroids and makes it permanent, American citizens and others are at greater risk of being locked away by the military without charge or trial if this bill becomes law,” said Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.[/quote]

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had sought an exception to the provision for U.S. citizens[/quote]
Whew! Thank god someone respectable is on the right side!

Feinstein said her goal was to ensure "the military won’t be roaming our streets looking for suspected terrorists.[/quote]


Back to Iran:[quote]
Last week, the administration announced a new set of penalties against Iran, including identifying for the first time Iran’s entire banking sector as a “primary money laundering concern.” This requires increased monitoring by U.S. banks to ensure that they and their foreign affiliates avoid dealing with Iranian financial institutions.[/quote]
Way to go, Barry O. That’ll earn you some RESPECT from Congress!

[quote]But lawmakers pressed ahead with even tougher penalties despite reservations by the administration.

Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Kirk had widespread bipartisan support for their amendment that would target foreign financial institutions that do business with the Central Bank of Iran, barring them from opening or maintaining correspondent operations in the United States. It would apply to foreign central banks only for transactions that involve the sale or purchase of petroleum or petroleum products.[/quote]

And of course, this means that oil’s going back up unless Obie One finds another supplier. Hey, but that pipeline in Ohio…oh yeah…never mind. :s … 55722.html