On Thursday, the House Armed Services Committee approved its version of the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 57-1. The legislation includes an amendment sponsored by Democratic Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Elaine Luria (Va.) that would boost defense spending by $37 billion in FY23. The committee’s counterpart in the Senate recently passed a bill that adds $45 billion to the Pentagon’s topline. Meanwhile, House appropriators have recommended legislation that funds the Department of Defense at the president’s request level.
The additional funding in the HASC amendment would bolster weapons programs and address rising costs due to inflation.
The amendment adds $1.2 billion in incremental funding for an additional DDG 51 destroyer, plus $250 million for related shipyard infrastructure improvements. Another $2.4 billion is added for an additional frigate, a T-AO oiler, and two Expeditionary Medical Ships. Five Littoral Combat Ships and two expeditionary transfer docks (ESD) slated for decommissioning would be saved.
Additional funding is appropriated for a number of aircraft, including $660 million for eight F/A-18E/F Super Hornets; $1.3 billion for other Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, including two E-2Ds, five C-130s, and two V-22s; and $884 million for four extra EC-37B Compass Call aircraft for the Air Force.
The amendment adds $1 billion for Patriot missile defense systems and over $200 million for 20 THAAD interceptors. Some $400 million is provided for munitions technology development, plus $178 million to support the organic ammunition industrial base.
A number of research and development projects are supported by the amendment, including a $665 million plus-up for biomanufacturing and biotechnology, $325 million for test and evaluation infrastructure, $200 million for quantum computing, and $200 million for 5G and FutureG communications technology.
The amendment also includes an extra $550 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (for a total of $1 billion in the bill), $3.5 billion to address military construction inflation, $2.5 billion for fuel inflation, and $1.4 billion for other personnel and housing inflation costs.