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House Passes Defense Spending Bill

On March 8, the House passed, 371-48, H.R. 1301, the FY2017 defense spending bill. The bill would allocate $583.7 billion in discretionary funding for FY2017, which includes $577.9 billion in base funding and $5.8 billion in supplemental spending provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 114-113), also known as the continuing resolution (CR). Congress had not completed its work on most of the FY2017 spending bill and passed the CR to fund the government through April 28 (see The Source, 12/9/16).

The bill would allocate $128.7 billion for military personnel, a decrease of $502.7 million from FY2016, and $33.8 billion for the defense health program, an increase of $1.45 billion from FY2016, and $167.6 billion for operation and maintenance, an increase of $118.1 million from FY2016.

According to the committee’s explanatory statement, the bill would allocate $10 million towards the recruitment and retention of women in the Afghanistan National Security Forces, as well as the recruitment and training of female security personnel. In addition, the measure includes a total of $296 million for sexual assault prevention and response, including $25 million for the sexual assault special victims counsel program, $5 million for the Women in Military Service Memorial, $8 million toward HIV prevention activities in connection with U.S. military assistance located primarily in African nations, and $120 million and $20 million for the peer-reviewed breast and ovarian cancer research programs, respectively.

The Peer-Reviewed Medical Research program would receive $300 million for its work on several medical conditions and diseases, including interstitial cystitis and women’s heart disease.

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