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Senate Fails to Advance Defense Spending Bill

On June 18, the Senate rejected its version of the FY2016 Defense spending bill (H.R. 2685) by a vote of 50-45. The legislation failed to garner the requisite 60 votes required to end a procedural vote, known as cloture, and move to final passage. The House approved the measure on June 11, while the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a separate version of the appropriations bill (S. 1558) also on June 11 (see The Source, 6/12/15).

According to the Senate Appropriations Committee report, the bill would allocate $568.842 billion in FY2016. This amount is $22.088 billion over FY2015, but $1.878 billion below President Obama’s request. Within this amount, the bill would provide $129.442 billion for military personnel, which is $1.437 billion over FY2015, but $1.049 billion below the administration’s request.

While noting progress made by the Department of Defense in addressing sexual assault in the military, the bill would provide an additional $25 million for the “implementation of the Special Victims’ Counsel Program across all the services” (p. 14).

Peer-reviewed medical research would receive $278.7 million in FY2016 for research areas including interstitial cystitis, lupus, and women’s heart disease (pp. 200-201). The peer-reviewed breast and ovarian cancer programs would receive $120 million and $10 million, respectively (p. 197).

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

Program/Agency

FY2015

President’s FY2016 Request

FY2016

Military Personnel $128.005 billion $130.491 billion $129.442 billion
Defense Health Program $32.07 billion $32.243 billion $32.268 billion

 

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