FY18 Defense bills take important first steps
Recognizing that getting all appropriations bills completed before the October 1st start of the fiscal year, Congress appears to be positioning for a security “mini-bus” comprised of Defense, Homeland Security, VA/MILCON and Energy/Water.
VA/MILCON appropriations moved through committees almost without notice in June.
Last week, 3 of 4 defense committees/subcommittees approved their FY18 “mark” – their puts and takes on President Trump’s $603B budget request. Given the late arrival of the FY18 budget (late May), it was a bit of a surprise to see committee marks so quickly – attributable to a reduced hearing schedule and clear desire to keep the prospect of a long-term continuing resolution at bay.
Each committee has a slightly different approach; however, common themes include:
- Base + OCO approaching $700B
- Significant investment in readiness accounts
- Less investment in procurement than expected based on campaign message
- Hearing testimony suggests FY19 will be the “buildup” year for Trump
Topline numbers by committee
- Chairman Thornberry’s bill authorizes:
- Base $614B
- OCO $64.6B
- Chairman McCain’s bill authorizes:
- Base $632B
- OCO $60B
- Chairwoman Granger’s bill appropriates:
- Base $658B
- OCO $74B