The House on Wednesday passed H.R. 2397, its version of the Fiscal 2014 defense appropriations bill, by a vote of 315 to 109. The bill provides $512.5 billion in base defense funding, which is $3.4 billion below the Pentagon’s request, but some $28.1 billion above the current level called for under budget sequestration, according to a House Appropriations Committee release. The bill also appropriates $85.8 billion for overseas contingency operations. “We’ve already seen the distressing toll that the heavy-handed, indiscriminate cuts of sequestration have taken on our military, leading to a loss of readiness of our troops and risking our national security,” said HAC Chairman Rep, Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). “I applaud the passage of this important bill, which strikes a balance between fiscal responsibility and sufficient support for our military,” he said. Among the amendments added to the bill are measures that: bar furloughs of Defense Department civilian employees in Fiscal 2014; prohibit the Air Force from reducing force structure at Lajes Airfield in the Portuguese Azores; and prevent the cancellation of the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program. The Senate has not yet passed its version of the bill. (Text of legislation and bill report; caution, large-sized files.) (List of bill amendments)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.