HASC Passes Fiscal 2013 Defense Policy Bill

The House Armed Services Committee passed H.R. 4310, its version of the Fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill, on May 10, providing $554 billion for base national defense activities and $88.5 billion for overseas contingency operations. The full House is expected to vote on the bill next week, according to a statement from HASC Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.). “I’m proud that our members consistently put aside personal politics to fulfill that sacred obligation to our armed forces,” said McKeon. He said the committee provided “nearly $4 billion more” than the Pentagon’s budget request. Among its provisions, the bill preserves funds for C-27J and C-130 transports that the Air Force wanted to retire, and it retains in service the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 remotely piloted aircraft that the Air Force wanted to place in storage. It also nixes proposed cuts to A-10s and F-16s that were “slated for premature divestment prior to the forecasted service-life end of each aircraft,” states McKeon’s release. The bill also authorizes a 1.7 percent military pay increase.