HAC Releases 2016 Defense Spending Bill

The House Appropriations Committee released the defense subcommittee’s draft of the Fiscal 2016 defense spending bill on Tuesday, which includes $578.6 billion in discretionary funds—an increase of $24.4 billion above Fiscal 2015 funding levels and $800 million above the President’s budget request, according to a May 19 summary of the legislation. The bill provides $8.4 billion for 65 F-35 strike fighters, including 36 of the Air Force variant, as well as $2.3 billion for 12 KC-46 tankers. As expected, the bill once again prohibits the Air Force from divesting its A-10 Warthog fleet. It also fully funds the authorized 2.3 percent pay raise for troops instead of the 1.3 percent raise requested by the President. “Threats to our country and on our people continue to grow, and around the world new areas of concern seem to sprout up almost monthly. It is now more important than ever to provide our troops and commanders with the tools and support they need to protect our great nation and our way of life,” said Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.).