HAC Approves Fiscal 2015 Defense Spending Bill

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved its version of the Fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. The legislation provides $491 billion in discretionary funding, some $200 million more than President Obama’s request, and $79.4 billion for the Pentagon’s overseas war efforts, matching Obama’s proposed level. “This defense funding bill funds our national security in a way that is both fiscally responsible and reflective of the current and future threats to our nation,” said HAC Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) in the committee’s release. Committee members defeated an amendment put forth by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) that would have saved the A-10 fleet from retirement by preserving funding for it next fiscal year. In contrast, the House’s version of the Fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, passed in May, added funding to keep the A-10s flying. Among the Air Force-related provisions adopted in the spending bill is language directing the service to present a plan to Congress on how it will improve the capabilities of the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 fleet to mitigate the loss of U-2 surveillance airplanes, prior to taking steps to divest the U-2s. (HAC defense bill report; caution, large-sized file.)