HASC, SASC Reach Agreement on 2015 Authorization Bill

The House and Senate Armed Services Committees reached an agreement on a $585 billion Fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, which includes $495.9 billion in the base budget, $63.7 billion for overseas contingency operations, and $17.5 billion for national security programs in the Department of Energy and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, according to a joint release from both committees. It authorizes a one-percent pay raise for service members, provides funding for counter-ISIS operations, “continues a bipartisan process of reforming the way DOD does business, and makes important investments while adjusting to an era of declining resources,” states the release. However, the agreement also prohibits the Air Force from retiring the MQ-1 Predator, U-2, E-3 AWACS, and from divesting the A-10 fleet. In addition, the agreement prohibits DOD from divesting or transferring any KC-10 tankers until the Defense Secretary has submitted a report to congressional defense committees assessing the cost and benefits of the proposed divestment or transfer. The legislation will now go to the full House and Senate for a vote.