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Defense Spending Bill Approved by House Committee

On June 10, the House Appropriations Committee approved, by voice vote, the FY2015 Defense spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The Subcommittee on Defense approved the legislation on May 30 (seeThe Source, 5/30/14).

According to the committee report, the bill would provide $490.942 billion in discretionary funds for programs at the Department of Defense. This amount is $4.1 billion over the amount enacted in FY2014 and $199.825 million over the amount requested by President Obama for FY2015. The bill also would allocate $79.445 billion for overseas contingency operations in Afghanistan.

The chart below details funding levels for programs important to women and their families.

Program/Agency FY2014 President’s FY2015 Request FY2015
Military Personnel $128.796 billion $128.958 billion $128.128 billion
Defense Health Program $32.699 billion $31.995 billion $31.635 billion


The committee recommends a $12.9 million increase for HIV/AIDS programs (p.280), which includes at least $8 million for global HIV/AIDS prevention under the Defense Health Program (p.308)

The bill would allocate $246 million for cancer research, including $120 million for the peer-reviewed breast cancer research program and $20 million for the peer-reviewed ovarian cancer research program (p. 283).

The committee expressed concern regarding the high prevalence of sexual assault in the military and at military academies. The committee “fully funds the budget request for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs and encourages the secretary of Defense and the service chiefs to do more to stop this destructive epidemic in the military” (p.12). The committee also “fully funds the budget request for the SVC [Special Victims’ Counsel] program,” which will be expanded to provide legal services to all branches of the military (p.11-12).

During consideration of the bill, the committee approved, by voice vote, an amendment by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to prohibit funds from being used to implement the new hair and grooming regulations for female members of the armed services that were issued by the Pentagon in March of 2014.

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