Senate Defense Appropriators Mark Up Defense Spending Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel provided $604.5 billion for the Defense Department next fiscal year in its July 31 mark-up of the President’s Fiscal 2013 defense spending proposal. That total allocation includes $511.2 billion for the Pentagon’s base activities and $93.3 billion to fund overseas contingency operations like the war in Afghanistan, according to the panel’s mark-up summary. Those numbers are “equivalent” to the Defense Department’s requests, stated Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), panel chairman, in his mark-up statement. By comparison, House appropriators in May approved $519.2 billion in Pentagon base funding and $88.5 billion for OCO. Among the Air Force-related highlights, the Senate panel supported the request for 19 F-35A strike fighters; “fully” funded next-generation bomber and prompt global strike development; added $260 million for Air National Guard weapons systems sustainment; restored $100 million for the Operationally Responsive Space program and $35 million for the Space Test Program; bumped up C-130J procurement funding by $180 million for “efficient production”; and “fully” funded MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft procurement, including two combat loss replacements.