SUMMARY: Senate Appropriations Committee FY2020 Defense Funding Bill

Washington, D.C. – The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2020, provides $694.9 billion for the Department of Defense, in accordance with the budget agreement.  This amount is $20.5 billion over the enacted level, and a decrease of $3 billion from the President’s request.  Of the funds provided in the bill, $622.5 billion is for base budget requirements, $70.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, and $1.7 billion for response to natural disasters impacting military facilities.  Unfortunately, the bill does nothing to limit the President’s ability to, once again, steal money from our troops and their families in order to fund his ineffective wall.

Key Points & Highlights

Innovation, Technological Superiority, and Medical Research

  • The bill provides $104.2 billion for research and development programs.  This is an increase of $1.6 billion compared to the 2020 budget request, $9.3 billion more when compared to 2019 enacted levels, and a historic high for the Department of Defense.
  • Advanced military technologies --  The bill increases investments in next generation wireless, 5G, (+$436 million), manufacturing investments (+$170 million), and test and evaluation infrastructure (+$307 million)
  • The bill provides $132.8 billion for procurement to modernize our military capabilities.  This is an increase of $13.9 billion compared to the 2020 budget request, $2.5 billion less compared to 2019 enacted levels.
  • Aircraft – The bill provides for 96 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, 48 Apache and 73 Black Hawk helicopters for the Army, six P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the Navy, eight F-15EX for the Air Force, and eight additional C-130 transport aircraft for the Air National Guard.
  • Ground Vehicles -- The bill provides $1.7 billion for M-1 tanks and restores the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicle production levels.
  • Shipbuilding -- The bill provides $24.4 billion for 14 battle force ships; including 2 Virginia Class submarines, 3 DDG-51 Arleigh Burke destroyers, 1 Future Frigate; 1 LHA, 1 LPD-17; 1 Expeditionary Fast Transport; 2 T-AO Fleet oilers, 1 T-ATS fleet tug, and 2 Large Unmanned Surface Vessels.  The recommendation supports the revised acquisition strategy for the VIRGINIA Class submarine (VCS) Block V multi-year, as agreed to by the Navy and shipbuilder:
    • Recommends +$1.4 billion to fund fiscal year 2019 and 2020 VCS Block V multi-year shortfalls
    • Recommends +$200 million in advance procurement in support of the option for a 10th VCS within the current multi-year contract
    • Recommends +$100 million in Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Navy for risk reducing design work to support an option to add an 11th submarine to the multi-year contract.
    • Recommends +$200 million in advance procurement in support of a 10th VCS within the current multi-year
    • The bill provides a total of $1.88 billion for medical research, which is a 5 percent increase over last year’s Senate bill, continuing year-over-year substantial increases to accelerate life-saving breakthroughs for service members, their families, and the American people. 

Supporting Service Members and Their Families

  • The bill provides $201 billion in operation and maintenance funds, in order to sustain military readiness and operations.  This is an increase of $7 billion over the 2019 level, and an increase of 6.5 percent since 2018.
  • The bill provides $251 million for PFAS water contamination impacting dozens of military bases.  This is equal to the 2019 level, and triple the amount of funding requested in the President’s budget.  The bill includes $10 million to continue the nation-wide CDC study and assessment on the health impacts of the chemicals; adds nearly $200 million for investigations and remediation on bases and in communities adjacent to bases; and adds $43 million for aqueous film forming foam disposal and replacement on bases.
  • The bill provides for high priority “quality of life” programs including: Impact Aid ($40 million), Impact Aid for Children with Disabilities ($10 million), National Guard Youth ChalleNGe ($50 million) and Special Victims Counsel ($35 million).
  • The bill fully funds the pay raise for military personnel at the requested level of 3.1 percent.  It also supports the President’s recently proposed 2.6 percent pay raise for the civilian workforce. 

Disaster Assistance

  • The bill provides $1.7 billion in emergency disaster assistance to the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army National Guard in response to Hurricanes Michael and Florence, flooding and earthquakes.  This includes funding for Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California.  The majority of this funding is for storm cleanup, facilities repairs and replenishment of supplies.