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Congress Advances Defense Spending Bills

This week, the House and Senate approved their versions of the FY2016 Defense spending bill (H.R. 2685 and S. 2558, respectively.)

House

On June 11, the House approved, 278-149, the FY2016 Defense spending bill (H.R. 2685). The House Appropriations Committee passed the bill on June 2 (see The Source, 6/5/15).

The bill would allocate $579.17 billion in mandatory and discretionary funds in FY2016. This amount is $21.803 billion over FY2015 and $778.387 million over President Obama’s FY2016 budget request.

According to the committee report, the legislation would support such programs with “a new and welcome focus” on protecting those who report cases of alleged sexual assault (pp. 374-5).

During consideration of the bill, the House approved, by voice vote, an amendment by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) to increase by $10 million funding for breast cancer research.

Senate

On June 11, the Senate Appropriations Committee cleared, 27-3, the FY2016 Defense spending bill for full Senate consideration (S. 2558). The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense approved the bill on June 9.

The bill would provide $575.9 billion overall for the Department of Defense and overseas contingency operations (OCO). Of that total, $489.1 billion is provided in base funding for the Department of Defense and $86.8 billion for OCO.

According to the subcommittee summary, the legislation would fund a 1.3 percent pay increase for military personnel and “$25 million for the continued implementation of the Sexual Assault Special Victims’ Counsel program across the services.”

The bill also includes $278.7 million for peer-reviewed medical research, which includes funding for peer-reviewed breast cancer research.

More details will be available once the committee releases its report.

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