HASC Passes Fiscal 2015 Defense Authorization

The House Armed Services Committee unanimously approved its version of the Fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill in the early morning hours of May 8. The legislation, which will now move to the full House for consideration, includes $495.8 billion in discretionary defense spending and an additional $79.4 billion for overseas contingency funds—up slightly from the $495.6 billion included in the President’s Fiscal 2015 base budget request. Just before midnight, 25 Democrats and 16 Republicans voted in favor of an amendment introduced by Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) to keep the A-10 flying, even though HASC Chairman Buck McKeon’s mark-up of the bill agreed to let the Air Force divest the fleet as long as the aircraft remained in type-1000 storage, states a May 8 release from Barber’s office. HASC’s version of the bill also takes away $226.3 million from the KC-46A tanker program, authorizing the Air Force to procure six new tankers, instead of the original seven, in Fiscal 2015. The bill also cuts $50 million from the C-5M program, but adds $88.4 million to the C-130 program. In addition, the HASC bill includes $220 million to fund a replacement to the Russian-made RD-180 engine, which powers United Launch Alliance rockets. The committee once again rejected a request for another BRAC round. (Summary of HASC version of 2015 NDAA.)