McKeon Issues His Mark of Fiscal 2014 Defense Legislation

p, .Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), House Armed Services Committee chairman, on Monday released his version of H.R. 1960, the Fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, in preparation for the full committee’s mark-up on June 5. McKeon’s mark authorizes $552.1 billion for base national defense activities (President Obama requested $526.6 billion) and $85.8 billion for overseas contingency operations (the White House asked for $79.4 billion). “This is consistent with the levels authorized” in the Fiscal 2013 defense authorization act for the base budget and “$2.7 billion less for war spending,” said McKeon in a release. Among the provisions, his mark provides a 1.8 percent increase in military pay; rejects most of the Administration’s proposals to increase Tricare fees or establish new Tricare fees; and, to help combat sexual assault in the ranks, strips commanders of their authority to dismiss a finding by a court martial. It prevents “the premature retirement” of RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 aircraft; funds the KC-46 tanker and Long-Range Strike Bomber; and supports C-130H modernization and C-130J multiyear procurement. The extra OCO funds above the President’s request will “replenish readiness accounts raided in prior years” and restore items like Air Force flying hours, states the release. (McKeon’s mark and summary)