House Appropriators Release Draft Fiscal 2012 Defense Bill

The draft copy of the Fiscal 2012 defense appropriations bill, released by the House Appropriations Committee’s defense panel, includes some $530.5 billion in baseline funding (excluding military construction) and $118.6 billion for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the committee, the baseline mark is about $9 billion less than President Obama’s request, while the overseas contingency funding is nearly $1 billion more. The draft legislation, issued Tuesday, fully funds the Air Force’s KC-46A tanker replacement program and provides $5.9 billion for 32 F-35 strike fighters, including 19 F-35A variants for the Air Force. The draft also includes $1.1 billion for 11 C-130J aircraft and $699 million for 48 MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft. It does not provide funds to continue development of the F136, the F-35’s second engine. The HAC-D met on Wednesday to mark-up the legislation in a closed-door session. (HAC release)