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Committee Approves Defense Authorization Bill

On May 7, the House Armed Services Committee approved, 61-0, the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4435), as amended. The Military Personnel Subcommittee approved its portion of the bill on April 30 (see The Source, 5/2/14).

According to the committee summary, the bill would authorize $521.3 billion in mandatory and discretionary funding for the Department of Defense (DoD), defense-related programs at the Department of Energy, and overseas contingency operations (OCO). This amount is $30.7 billion below FY2014 and $45 billion below President Obama’s request. Included in the total is: $495.8 billion and $7.9 billion in discretionary and mandatory funds, respectively, for DoD, and $79.4 billion for OCO.

The bill contains several provisions to address military sexual assault, assist military families, and provide funding for local education agencies impacted by the enrollment of military children and dependent children of civilian Defense employees.

During consideration of the bill, the committee approved the following amendments by voice vote:

  • An amendment by Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) to direct the Joint Chiefs of Staff to study the integration of gender into the planning and execution of foreign operations;
  • An amendment by Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) to require the dismissal or dishonorable discharge and confinement for military personnel convicted of sex-related offenses;
  • An amendment by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) to require DoD to brief Congress on its efforts to address gender-based violence globally;
  • An amendment by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) to direct the secretary of Defense to oversee the implementation of gender-neutral occupational standards and ensure that combat equipment is properly designed and available to female service members;
  • An amendment by Rep. Sanchez to require the secretary to report to Congress on the results of the review of the Office of Diversity Management’s role in sexual harassment cases; and
  • An amendment by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) to prohibit enforcement of, and provide for, the evaluation of hair grooming standards for women.

More information will become available once the committee releases its report.

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