House Passes Fiscal 2014 Defense Spending Bill

The House on Wednesday passed H.R. 2397, its version of the Fiscal 2014 defense appropriations bill, by a vote of 315 to 109. The bill provides $512.5 billion in base defense funding, which is $3.4 billion below the Pentagon’s request, but some $28.1 billion above the current level called for under budget sequestration, according to a House Appropriations Committee release. The bill also appropriates $85.8 billion for overseas contingency operations. “We’ve already seen the distressing toll that the heavy-handed, indiscriminate cuts of sequestration have taken on our military, leading to a loss of readiness of our troops and risking our national security,” said HAC Chairman Rep, Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). “I applaud the passage of this important bill, which strikes a balance between fiscal responsibility and sufficient support for our military,” he said. Among the amendments added to the bill are measures that: bar furloughs of Defense Department civilian employees in Fiscal 2014; prohibit the Air Force from reducing force structure at Lajes Airfield in the Portuguese Azores; and prevent the cancellation of the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program. The Senate has not yet passed its version of the bill. (Text of legislation and bill report; caution, large-sized files.) (List of bill amendments)