FY17 Defense Full Committee Markup Bill Summary




Full Committee Mark:  May 26, 2016


Washington, D.C. The Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Act, 2017 provides $574.6 billion in base and Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) funding, compared to $572.9 billion enacted in fiscal year 2016 and $576.5 billion in the President’s budget request.  The base budget appropriation is $516 billion with $58.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations of the Department of Defense. 


The Subcommittee’s allocation conforms to the spending levels set by the Bipartisan Budget Act and provides adequate resources to protect America’s national defense needs, both at home and overseas. 


U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Vice Chairman of the Department of Defense Subcommittee, said:


“This defense bill takes a responsible approach to protecting our country – honoring the bipartisan budget deal in place and strongly supporting Counter-ISIL efforts and fully funding the President’s request for Overseas Contingency Operations.  As Secretary Carter has stressed, we will not take chances when it comes to funding the men and women serving in forward positions, as the House bill does.  At the same time, our bill improves readiness, supports our troops and their families in the field and at home, and continues to devote more resources to science and medical research so we are prepared for the future fight.”


U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement:


“I commend Chairman Cochran and Vice Chairman Durbin for writing a bipartisan Defense bill that answers the question, ‘How can we best defend and protect the nation?’  This bill makes key investments to give our troops the right tools, technology, equipment and training to meet the growing and diverse challenges, as well as respects, acknowledges and supports our treasured allies, including Israel. Most importantly, this bill is crafted with the notion that our military is only as strong as its troops.  The bill includes a 1.6 percent pay raise for military and civilian employees and protects important military and family benefits, such as the commissary system.  Commissaries provide access to healthy foods at low prices around the world, and are one of the most popular services for service members and their families. Lastly, as the Senator for Maryland, I represent nine military installations that support 130,000 jobs.  The men and women who work there, and their families, protect and serve the United States around the world.  I am so proud of them, and happy to support a Defense Appropriations bill that supports them.”


Key Points & Highlights


In compliance with the earmark moratorium, the bill contains no congressionally directed spending items.


The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017 emphasizes the following priorities:


(1)   Responsibly Meets the Nation’s National Security Needs – No OCO Gimmicks


(2)   Fully Supports Counter-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Efforts


(3)   Supports our Troops, Veterans and their Families


(4)   Invests in Medical Research and Technological Innovation


Responsibly Meets the Nation’s National Security Needs – No OCO Gimmicks


  • Supports the needs of our troops serving in Afghanistan and the Middle East by fully funding the President’s request for Overseas Contingency Operations.


  • The bill meets significant security requirements within base funding:


    • Addresses shortfalls in Marine Corps Aviation readiness by adding four F-35s and two V-22s to lessen dependence on aging platforms, and also adds $300 million for Marine Corps aviation maintenance programs.


    • Includes $150 million in Facility, Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization funding to address pressing maintenance needs at military facilities. 


    • Adds $1 billion for a new icebreaker for the Coast Guard, an integral part of U.S. policy toward the Arctic. 


    • Provides $600.7 million for Israeli missile defense programs – including Iron Dome, Arrow, Arrow Upper Tier and David’s Sling – $113.1 million more than fiscal year 2016.


    • Fully funds the President’s $3.4 billion request for the European Reassurance Initiative to improve the defense posture of our friends and allies against Russian threats. 


Fully Supports Counter-ISIL Efforts


  • Fully funds Counter-ISIL efforts and doesn’t include a reckless, irresponsible and arbitrary cut-off of funding for our troops serving in harm’s way in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. 


  • Streamlines funding for cooperative defense programs, so our Armed Forces will spend more time working with coalitions partners and less time dealing with red tape. 


Supports our Troops, Veterans, and their Families


Support for our military personnel must include providing adequate services to their families.   The bill contains many provisions to support them:


  • Funds the requested 1.6 percent pay raise for military and civilian employees, 0.3 percent higher than in 2016.


  • Provides an additional $25 million to the President’s request for continuation and expansion of the Special Victims’ Counsel Program that provides victims of sexual assault with legal assistance and support.  


  • Provides an additional $20 million to the President’s request for the Beyond Yellow Ribbon program, which supports National Guard members, Reservists and their families throughout their deployments.


  • Provides $30 million for Impact Aid, which provides educational resources for the children of military families.  Also includes an additional $5 million for Impact Aid for children with disabilities. 


  • Continues efforts to improve medical record transfer between DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs.


  • Provides an additional $3 million for Operation Live Well to further efforts to provide access to nutritious foods and healthy lifestyle choices to all personnel. 


Invests in Medical Research and Technological Innovation


DoD efforts in medical and basic scientific research continue to yield impressive results, improving the effectiveness and security of our warfighters, while also improving the overall quality of life for Americans and making significant contributions to the nation’s economy.  The bill continues critical investments to maintain this progress and ensure we are prepared for the future fight:


  • Provides an additional $915.4 million for DoD medical research, a five percent increase to the Senate’s fiscal year 2016 funding level, including:


    • $300 million for the Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program;


    • $120 million for Breast Cancer Research;


    • $64 million for Prostate Cancer Research;


    • $60 million for Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health Research; and


    • $10 million for Orthotics and Prosthetics Outcomes Research.


  • Adds $163 million to the President’s request for non-medical basic research, for a total of $2.26 billion in funding.


  • Includes $100 million to accelerate the development of a new domestic rocket engine and end our dependence on the Russian RD-180 as soon as practical. 



Press Contact

Mara Stark-Alcalá w/Appropriations:             (202) 224-2667                                  

Ben Marter w/Durbin Press Office:           (202) 228-5244