Viewing posts categorised under: Quick Hits

Quick Hit – January 28, 2019

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

An End to the Partial Government
Shutdown: The Government Reopens until Feb. 15

President Donald Trump announcing the end to the partial government shutdown in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, Jan 25, 2019 (Boston Herald).

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), worked hard behind the scenes during the negotiating process (Politico).

Shutdown Update:

On January 25th, the partial government shutdown came to an end following the passage of a stopgap funding bill in the Senate and House to fund the government through Feb. 15. The 35-day long partial government shutdown, the longest in history, ended after a deal reached between President Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The deal includes funding for seven out of the twelve appropriations bill, specifically Agriculture-FDA, Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services-General Government, Homeland Security, Interior-Environment, State-Foreign Operations, and Transportation-HUD. The State Department, Homeland Security Department, Transportation Department, and NASA are just a few of the covered agencies the continuing resolution will reopen. FY19 appropriations bills have already been enacted for Defense and Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, as well as for Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs.

One notable absence in the deal is funding for President Trump’s border wall. As part of the deal, however, lawmakers agreed to form a conference committee to negotiate appropriations for the Homeland Security Department. This could ultimately include funding for border security. Though the deal provides much needed relief, there is still a tough road ahead for Democrats, Republicans, and President Trump as they continue to negotiate on President Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding.


Are you ready for FY20?

Even though portions of the government have been waiting for Congress and President Trump to find agreement on FY19 funding, the FY20 budget reveal is immediately upon us. The annual budget is traditionally due to Congress the first Monday in February, in this case the 4th. The administration has signaled their FY20 submission will be late, but we don’t yet know how late. Surely the partial shutdown has impacted some agency’s ability to finalize their budget materials.

That said, companies with government customers should have a pretty good understanding of how they expect their programs to fare in the FY20 submission. If that’s not the case, you might re-assess how close you are to your customer.

As the FY20 submission comes forward, your opportunity to tell your story to Congress is also upon us. Remember, Congress reviews every line of the budget submission and puts its stamp on what eventually becomes the 12 appropriations bills that will fund the government. As such, every federal dollar that will be spent on your programs of interest will have passed through this Congressional review and approval process. Upon review of the public FY20 budget submission, if you find your program took an unexpected “hit” or somehow fell “below the line” this year, you have an opportunity to make sure Congress fully appreciates the impact of those decisions.

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Quick Hit – January 2, 2019

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

Government Shutdown Continues into 2019

President Donald Trump and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) attempting to negotiate a deal to keep the government open during a meeting at the White House on December 11, 2018 (CNBC).

Mick Mulvaney, Acting Chief of Staff to the President and Office of Management and Budget director, predicted early on in the shutdown it could continue into 2019 and the new Congress (CNN).

While many are celebrating the New Year, federal employees from nine government agencies have been forced to continue to work without pay as the partial federal government shutdown enters its eleventh day absent a compromise proposal from Congress. Since December 22, negotiations to re-open about a quarter of the federal government have stalled over a lack of funding for President Trump’s border “wall” and more broadly the difference in positions of Democrats and Republicans regarding border security. Initially, President Trump had agreed to support the Senate’s plan to continue funding until February 8th, but changed his mind following backlash from the more conservative members of his party in the House.

House Democrats have already created a plan to end the partial shutdown that is expected to pass upon them taking control of the House January 3rd. This plan includes approval of six full-year appropriations bills with new spending totals and a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security funding until February 8th. However, the short-term proposal maintains current border security funding at $1.3 billion, shy of President Trump’s $5 billion request, and can be used for fencing and border barrier repairs. Without more “wall” funding President Trump is likely to reject the proposal, and Senate Republicans will not take up the legislation if the President does not approve. The politicization of border security and deepening polarity in Congress has made compromise challenging—we’ll keep tracking as any significant developments unfold this week.


To all of our readers, we wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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Quick Hit – December 5, 2018

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

Some Reports of Interest

International Workboat Show

Capitol Integration attended the International Workboat Show last week. Having attended for the last four years, one trend was obvious – the commercial maritime and service industry is feeling the lift of an improving economy.

 

Secretary of Defense Mattis at the 2018 Reagan National Defense Forum (Defense News).

2018 Reagan National Defense Forum

Capitol Integration attended the sixth Reagan National Defense Forum at the Reagan Library this weekend, in the company of civilian and uniformed leaders of the Department of Defense, leaders of Congressional defense authorization and appropriations panels, and leaders of defense Primes and thought leaders from a variety of DC-based think tanks. In the main, it offered attendees a collective sense of where the industry will move in the coming months. Below are a few sobering observations at the macro level:

  • The general public is more disassociated than ever from a direct connection to the military, and therefore, an inherent understanding of the present strains on readiness
  • Agreement on a “topline” funding figure for defense in FY20 and beyond is far from certain
    • President Trump has stated he believes the FY20 number will be $700B
    • SASC Chairman Inhofe believes the FY20 number must be $733B
    • Incoming HASC Chairman Adam Smith believes the FY20 number must be weighed against relative interests, such as Health Care and Infrastructure
    • If the topline were to grow with inflation, that would translate to a relative cut as personnel and operations/maintenance costs outpace inflation
  • The military’s ability to win two major conflicts simultaneously is zero
  • The outcome of conflicts with China or Russia would include losses of capital assets our country has not seen since World War II
  • The tech industry generally views China as the biggest world threat
  • US payments on US debt interest to China is effectively funding the ongoing Chinese military buildup

Appropriations Update

While the defense bill and veterans and military construction appropriations bill for FY19 were dispatched with record speed, seven appropriations bills remain unfinished. Chief among them is the Homeland Security appropriations bill, which funds 18 agencies and would potentially fund a border wall.

The passing of President George H.W. Bush gave Congress convenient top cover to extend the current Continuing Resolution (CR) for two more weeks until December 21st.  Funding would otherwise have expired December 7th.  President Trump is demanding $5B for the border wall, so look for a compromise to be worked out. While this is a lot of money being debated, compared to both past and previous funding debates this one is likely to be resolved before Congress breaks for the Holidays.

Retired General Jack Keane, recognized with the “Peace Through Strength” Award at the 2018 Reagan National Defense Forum (Twitter).


Capitol Integration in the news

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Quick Hit – November 8, 2018

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

How do Midterm Election Results Impact You?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) officially announced her bid to become House speaker again. (CBS News)

2018 Midterm Elections

As as a result of Tuesday’s midterm elections, Democrats have retaken the House of Representatives, and Republicans have kept control of the Senate. While results are still incomplete from a few close races, Democrats have won more than the 218 seats needed for control of the House, gaining 28 seats, and Republicans are positioned to extend their majority in the Senate. Currently, Senate results reflect 51 – 46 in favor of Republicans, with Florida, Arizona, and Mississippi likely to go Republican. In the House, results reflect 223 – 197 in favor of Democrats, but forecasters are predicting a final count of 229 – 206.

Immediate Considerations

  • How did your relationships fare in the election?
  • Are your champions still positioned to guide, assist, challenge policy and address funding issues of interest to you?
  • How have committees of interest and oversight for issues concerning your business been impacted by election results?

What “Split Control” Means

  • In the House, all committees and committee staffs will change structure by: shifting to Democrat chairmanships; adjusting seats to reflect more Democrat seats than Republican; and, increasing Democrat (majority) staff while decreasing Republican (minority) staff.
  • The speedy appropriations process that has unfolded for FY19, including the relative ease with which a topline budget was agreed, will come to a halt.
  • Spending and policy issues will be much more difficult to reconcile between House and Senate positions, and will require real compromise to reach completion. In some cases, statesmanship will prevail.
  • The “Freedom Caucus” in the House, which exercised considerable sway over House Republican Leadership in recent years, is effectively powerless.

What’s Next in the Near Term?

Congress returns November 13, 2018 for a “lame duck” session. Republicans will expend great effort attempting to wrap up appropriations, including the Homeland Security appropriation where President Trump’s signature border wall would potentially be funded.

What’s Next for the New Congress?

  • After a Holiday break, Congress will return January 3, 2019 to formulate the 116th Congress, a two-year period covering calendar 2019-2020. Unfinished legislation from the 115th Congress will either expire or will have to be reintroduced in the new Congress.
  • Committees will be reconfigured, a process that normally takes multiple weeks. In both the House and Senate, election losses have created vacancies on multiple committees. Specific rules about the number and types of committees on which Members may serve will cause movement, as some Members will exercise their seniority to serve on a more relevant committee.
  • Leadership teams will be reelected in Congress, including Speaker of the House, Leaders of the House and Senate, Majority and Minority Whips of the House and Senate, etc. This process typically takes days, and is normally pre-ordained.

Republican whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) launched his bid to be minority leader in the next Congress. (CBS News)

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Quick Hit – September 15, 2018

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

Appropriations Update: GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN? Maybe not this year!

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) after passage of first appropriations minibus conference report for H.R. 5895 (Photo: Alabama Political Reporter)

FY19 Appropriations

Appropriations Committee leadership has deployed a clever strategy to break what could have been a massive, and widely disparaged “Omnibus,” into three “minibus” packages. Each minibus is designed to appeal to both Republicans and Democrats in the run up to the election. 9 of 12 appropriations bills are near-ready, a faster pace than seen in over ten years!

FY 2019 Defense and Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Minibus

Thursday, Congress made positive movement on two major minibus spending packages that will fund the government through the next fiscal year. Most significantly, the conference report for the FY 2019 Defense and Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Minibus (H.R. 6157) was agreed to, including a stopgap measure that would fund govt. through Dec. 7. This minibus is huge: the spending package combines funding for almost 70 percent of FY19 federal discretionary spending. It provides major procurement wins for shipbuilding and aircraft, as well as funding under a single contract for two Ford-class aircraft carriers, boosts research on hypersonics, and prevents Transfers of F-35s to Turkey.

NEXT STEPS: More conservative Republicans are lamenting the lack of Republican policy riders in the domestic portion of the package, but the minibus is expected to pass both chambers when they return from a brief recess the week of September 24th.

FY 2019 Energy and Water Development, Legislative Branch, and MilCon-VA Appropriations Minibus

Thursday, the House also passed the conference report to the FY 2019 Energy and Water Development, Legislative Branch, and MilCon-VA Appropriations Minibus (H.R. 5895) by a large margin of 377-20. The bill makes up roughly a little more than 10 percent of federal discretionary spending for FY19, and includes the aspect of the Pentagon’s budget that deals with military construction.

NEXT STEPS: The House has cleared the minibus for the President’s signature and so it awaits approval by the President.


The Bottom Line: Congress is making a proactive effort to make sure the government does not shut down and is fully funded for FY19, using this objective to garner bipartisan support to pass the appropriations minibuses. Of note, the Homeland Security appropriations bill has not been included in the three minibuses and remains a wild card pending an agreement with President Trump on funding his high priority border wall.

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Quick Hit – August 26, 2018

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

Appropriations Update: FY19 Defense Appropriations takes another step forward on an uncommonly fast path to completion as the Senate passes minibus appropriations package

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, delivering remarks on the Senate floor regarding the consideration of H.R. 6157

FY19 Defense Appropriations

This past Thursday, August 23rd, the Senate passed the FY19 minibus appropriations package to set spending priorities for military, labor, health, and education programs by an overwhelming majority of 85-7. The $857 billion minibus package, H.R. 6157, sets aside $675 billion for defense spending for FY19: $607 billion for base defense funding and $67.9 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. Since lawmakers have until Sept. 30 to pass new appropriations for federal agencies, appropriations movement on Capitol Hill has largely been driven by the desire to finalize funding by the start of the new fiscal year to avoid a government shutdown or short-term budget extension for the Pentagon. Given the difficult political environment of the day, another significant legislative win before the November elections would be welcome news. President Trump already signed the FY19 John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) August 13th, named at the time for the late Senator we lost this weekend. The NDAA only accounts for the policy aspect of defense spending while the defense appropriations bill actually spends funding.

The speed in which appropriations has been moving this year is historic: If passed and signed into law by President Donald Trump by Oct. 1, it would be the first time since 2006 a defense spending bill has been enacted by the start of a new fiscal year.

Notables and Amendments

  • Defense Spending Increase: $16 billion increase from FY18 (the largest increase in 15 years)
  • Military Pay: Increase of 2.6% (the largest in nine years)
  • Cyber: $4 million for the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (established in the FY19 NDAA)
  • Readiness: $237 billion for readiness issues
  • Shipbuilding: $24 billion for 13 new ships, including two Virginia-class submarines, three DDG-51 destroyers and two Littoral Combat ships
  • Senate Amendment 3910 (Shelby/Durbin): Allows for multi-year procurement contracting for SSN Virginia-class submarines
  • Aviation: $42 billion for 12 F-35 aircraft for the Navy and Marine Corps, $720 million for new AH-64E Apache helicopters and $240 million for three new V-22 Osprey aircraft

The Bottom Line: The desire to avoid a shutdown, coupled with the need for a legislative win before the November election recess, has allowed for the appropriations process to progress at a historically fast pace. Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) has led his Senate peers with a deft hand in moving the process so efficiently. Next steps will be for the House and Senate to conference their respective bills, hammering out differences before voting to send the final bill to the President.

Varsity Player’s Footnote: The desire to avoid a shutdown, coupled with the need for a legislative win before the November election recess, has allowed for the appropriations process to progress at a historically fast pace. Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) has led his Senate peers with a deft hand in moving the process so efficiently. Next steps will be for the House and Senate to conference their respective bills, hammering out differences before voting to send the final bill to the President.

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Quick Hit – July 25, 2018

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

Appropriations Update: FY19 NDAA clears Conference Committee as House enters its last week in session before summer recess

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Mac Thornberry (TX), left, pictured with acting Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. James Inhofe (OK), right (Source: House Armed Services Committee Republicans)

FY19 NDAA Defense Funding Levels (in billions)

DoD Discretionary Base $616.9
DoE Discretionary Base $21.8
Other Non-Defense $0.3
NDAA Authorized Base Topline $639
Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) $69
NDAA Authorized Topline w/OCO $708.1
Defense-Related Activities Outside NDAA Jurisdiction $8.2
National Defense (050) Topline w/OCO $716.3

FY19 NDAA Resolved Bill Summary

This week, Congress released the full conference report for the reconciled FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after Congressional negotiators from both chambers reached an agreement on the policy bill earlier Monday. The NDAA aims to effectively implement the 2018 National Defense Strategy by aligning the budget request with the priorities it outlined in the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) and through organizational reform. The NDAA also covers innovation in research and engineering, strategic competition and effective deterrence of Chinese and Russian aggression, reinforcement of our alliances, modernization of the Joint Force, and retention of our all-volunteer force. Notably, the bill establishes the first U.S. policy on cyber warfare and establishes a sub-unified command for space under the U.S. Strategic Command. The NDAA  now awaits final approval, and the House is expected to adopt the measure this week before it enters its summer recess. The Senate is likely to follow as early as August, having decided to extend and work through the month.

Many provisions in the compromised bill go directly against the recommendations of Defense Secretary Mattis and the White House, including a temporary ban on transfers of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 to Turkey, the imposition of a government-wide ban on equipment and services from ZTE, Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies, and limitations on support to the Saudi campaign in Yemen. However, other provisions of contention with White House policy were dropped, like the removal the National Nuclear Security Administration from direct control of the Energy Department, and a Trump-backed provision regarding Russian sanctions waiver language was included despite pushback from the Senate.

Differences Resolved in the Final Version 

  • Authorization for the Huntington Ingalls’ Ford-class aircraft carrier designated CVN-81, if the Secretary of Defense submits a certification to the congressional defense committees
  • $7.6 billion to procure 77 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters
  • $1.6 billion to procure a total of 3 Littoral Combat Ships (2 over administration request)
  • $2.4 billion to procure 15 KC-46 aircraft
  • $904 million to procure 5 E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes (1 over administration request)
  • $508 million for 8 Ship to Shore Connectors (3 over administration request)
  • $203.4 million to procure 69 General Dynamics’ Stryker upgrades (66 over administration request)
  • Prohibits the retirement of any E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar (JSTARs) Aircraft, but doesn’t fund the JSTARs recapitalization program
  • Authorizes the National Command Authority to direct U.S. Cyber Command to take appropriate and proportional action through cyberspace to disrupt, defeat, and deter systematic and ongoing attacks by Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran in cyberspace
  • Will not eliminate the Washington Headquarters Services, as specified in House-passed version
  • Requires the development of a Militarily Critical Technologies List to inform technology protection, export control, and research investment decisions

The Bottom Line: With an impending deadline to get passage in the House before recess, conferees were able to come together and compromise on the FY19 NDAA, which is expected to pass before the start of the fiscal year for the first time in over a decade. With $24 billion for shipbuilding and increases in procurement over administration recommendations, Congress has attempted to increase U.S. core capabilities and address 2018 NDS objectives. Following the appropriations process, the next step will be for movement on the FY19 Defense Appropriations Act in both chambers. 

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Quick Hit – June 29, 2018

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

Appropriations Update: Yesterday, the Senate took a major step in the appropriations process when the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the defense subcommittee FY19 markups (30-1), as the full House passed its version later in the day (359-49). In addition, full Senate passage of the FY19 NDAA (85-10) has paved the path forward for the bill to go to conference.  House leadership named conferees this week.

Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense (Source: The Hill)

Current Progress

President’s Budget Base: $617.1 billion OCO: $69 billion Timeline

HASC (NDAA)

Base: $616.7 billion OCO: $69 billion Conference Committee

SASC (NDAA)

Base: $617.6 billion OCO: $68.5 billion Conference Committee
HAC-D Base: $606.5 billion OCO: $68.1 billion Passed in House

Next: Waiting on Senate

SAC-D Base $607.1 billion OCO: $67.9 billion Markup Approved

Next: Introduction to Senate

Senate and House FY19 Defense Appropriations

After approval by the defense subcommittee at the beginning of the week, the Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) yesterday marked up the FY19 defense appropriations bill, ordering it to be reported favorably, 30-1. The markup appropriates $675 billion to defense for FY19, with a record high $95 billion for research and development. The specific breakdown reflects already released 302(b) allocations: $607.1 billion for base funding and $67.9 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).

The House version of the FY19 defense appropriations bill, which was also passed on the House floor yesterday afternoon, is similar to the SAC version, though it does contain some key differences that will need to be hammered out during conference in the coming weeks.

Differences 

  • Shipbuilding Procurement Funds: $1b difference ($22.7b from the House; $24b from the Senate)
  • Littoral Combat Ships (LCS): 3 funded by the House, only 2 funded by the Senate
  • F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft: 93 in the HAC version, 89 in the SAC version
  • Exclusive to the Senate Version:
    • Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), $225m
    • LHA Replacement (Advanced Procurement), $350m
    • LPD-17 (Advanced Procurement), $500m

NDAA Movement

With the passage of the FY19 NDAA in the Senate, the bill can now move to the House-Senate Conference Committee, where differences between the two versions will be addressed so that a final bill can be put forth. House leadership has already named who will serve on the committee, with notable names like Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), and Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH). Senate conferees will be named in the coming days.


The Bottom Line: Defense bills are moving unusually fast this year for two reasons: (1) it’s an election year, and (2) there was an agreed topline number in the two-year budget agreement covering FY18-FY19.

Be alert: The current budget agreement does not cover FY20 and beyond, and budget caps associated with sequestration return in FY20. While relief may again emerge post-election, your program managers and program executive officers are working the details of FY20 now. Make sure you aren’t wedged out by an early or uninformed agency decision.

Happy Independence Day to our growing Quick Hit readership!

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Quick Hit – June 13, 2018

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

Highlights: This week, The HAC convened to consider the FY19 defense appropriations bill, while the FY19 NDAA is being debated on the Senate floor. SAC-D defense appropriations markup is on track for completion in June.

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) on Wednesday heading into the Senate (Source: Joshua Roberts)

FY19 Defense Appropriations Bill Markup in the House

Earlier today, June 13th, the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) marked the FY19 defense appropriations bill, after the Subcommittee on Defense approved its markup last Thursday, June 7th. The bill was ordered to be reported favorably, 48-4, and includes funding for operations, readiness, equipment modernization, and health and quality-of-life programs for troops and military families. The markup has DOD receiving $674.6 billion to defense for FY19.

The HAC released “tables” late last night to accompany the draft released last week, which includes a breakdown in numbers on the appropriations procurements. 

  • Military Personnel and Pay: $144b ($139.3b base requirements and $4.7b OCO).
  • Operation and Maintenance:  $245.9b ($197.6b base requirements and $48.3b OCO). This includes $1b above the request to fill readiness shortfalls, $1.05b above the request to invest in facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization programs, and $20.6b total for depot maintenance.
  • Research and Development: The bill contains $92.4b ($91.2b base requirements and $1.2b OCO). Specifically, this supports R&D for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; space security programs; nuclear force modernization; the Ohio-class submarine replacement; Future Vertical Lift; and the Israeli Cooperative Programs. It also supports continuation of the E-8 JSTARS recapitalization program, rejecting the Air Force’s strategy to replace them.
  • Equipment Procurement: $145.7b ($133b base requirements and $12.7b OCO).
    • $22.7b for Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy, including:
      • Three Littoral Combat Ships (made in two versions by Lockheed Martin and Austal Ltd)
      • Three DDG-51 guided missile destroyers
      • Two Virginia-class submarines
      • Two TAO fleet oilers,
      • One Expeditionary Sea Base,
      • One Towing, Salvage, and, Rescue Ship
      • Continued procurement of the Columbia Class submarine
    • $9.4b for 93 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft (Lockheed Martin)
    • $1.9b for 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft (Boeing)
    • $1.5b for the upgrade of 85 Abrams tanks (General Dynamics)
  • Savings and Cuts: $870m in savings from rescissions of unused prior-year funding. (TAKE NOTE – nearly $1b in unobligated funding from prior year appropriations!)
    • Cuts $115.7m of FY18 funds from Tomahawk program due to mismanagement of the program by the U.S. Navy, according to the report.

NDAA Passage Looming in the Senate; Subcommittee Hearings in SAC-D

The Senate resumed consideration of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) earlier today, and is expected to pass the bill as early as this week. Yesterday, a major block to NDAA passage was removed by acting chair Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who shelved an amendment sponsored by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) limiting President Trump’s authority to issue tariffs on the basis of national security. According to Inhofe, Corker was blocking consideration of all amendments to the FY19 defense authorization bill until guaranteed a vote on his provision. Even so, other Republicans are still posing more blocks, like Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) as they try to secure a vote on a provision prohibiting indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. The White House is also at odds with a bipartisan amendment that would restore penalties on the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp.

As for the FY19 defense appropriations, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense (SAC-D) is continuing the appropriations process with budget request hearings. Most recently, there was a classified hearing to review defense innovation and research funding, which took place last Wednesday, June 6th. The pace for the process this year has been faster than in previous years, as all markups are expected to be completed by the end of June.


The Bottom Line: Top Line numbers and next steps for FY19 defense spending are as follows

President’s Budget Base: $617.1 billion OCO: $69 billion Timeline

HASC (NDAA)

Base: $616.7 billion OCO: $69 billion Waiting on Senate Vote
Next: Conference Committee

SASC (NDAA)

Base: $617.6 billion OCO: $68.5 billion Floor Action – Debate
Next: Passage (as early as this week)
HAC-D Base: $606.5 billion OCO: $68.1 billion Full Committee Markup
Next: Introduction in House
SAC-D Base $607 billion [302(b) allocation] OCO: $67.9 billion [302(b) allocation] In Subcommittee
Next: Markup (late June)
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Quick Hit – May 30, 2018

by Gene Moran in Quick Hits

Highlights: Congress is on recess this week. Last week the FY19 NDAA passed on the House floor and made progress in the Senate. The FY19 defense appropriations process also continued in both chambers.

House Passage of the NDAA on May 24, 2018.

Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee Senator Reed (D-RI), right, with Senator Inhofe (R-OK), acting chair in Senator McCain’s absence.

NDAA Progress in the House and Senate

The House version of the National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA), H.R. 5515, passed with a 351-66 vote last Thursday the 24th. That same day, the NDAA also made progress in the Senate, when it was advanced through the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and ordered to be reported, making it possible to be introduced to the whole Senate. Both versions attempt to address issues of oversight and management, accidents caused by military equipment, proper alignment of resources to meet priorities and demands, and a degrading state of capabilities, reflected in years of continuous war operations and what has been considered a lack of adequate funding.

Funding breakdown in the Senate:

  • $639.2 billion for base DOD and DOE national security programs, $617.6 billion and $21.6 billion respectively
  • $68.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)
  • $8.2 billion for defense related activities outside NDAA jurisdiction
  • Total for FY19 national defense spending $716 billion

Funding breakdown of NDAA in the House:

  • $616.7 billion for base DOD and $22.1 billion for DOE for a total of $638.8 billion
  • $69 billion for OCO and $8.9 billion for mandatory spending
  • Total for FY19 national defense spending $717 billion

Similarities:

  • Aviation: The House and Senate both authorized the purchase of 24 Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet aircraft.
  • Missile Defense: Both the House and Senate NDAA include provisions for procuring Standard Missile-3 Block IB missiles, effectively awarding a five-year contract worth roughly $1.9 billion to Raytheon for up to 204 of the missile interceptors. The Missile Defense Agency certified that the contract would save $212 million over annual purchases.
  • Nuclear Warheads: In keeping with President Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review, both the House and Senate versions authorize development of low-yield nuclear warheads to be carried on submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Previously prohibited by the fiscal 2004 NDAA, development and production is being backed by $65 million in the Senate version.
  • Tough on China: Both chambers increased pressure on President Trump not to weaken prohibitions on ZTE Corp., a Chinese telecommunications equipment maker accused of violating trade-sanction agreements and considered a threat to U.S. national security. The legislation includes bans on the use of ZTE-made technology by government agencies and prohibits the DOD from renewing contracts with vendors that work with ZTE Corp.

Differences:

  • Aviation: The House NDAA authorized the purchase of 77 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which is two more than requested by the SASC. The House also approved the purchase of 12 Boeing Co. KC-46A tanker aircraft, three fewer than requested, while the Senate authorizes 14, only one fewer than requested. Both moves were made “to restore program accountability,” amidst delays that Boeing is experiencing in delivering the tankers.
  • Sea Power: The House NDAA has paved the way for the construction of an additional Ford-class aircraft carrier, CVN-81, to be made by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., while the Senate version does not back the purchase. The two versions also differ in requests for Littoral Combat Ships. The Senate NDAA authorizes one ship, the same as the Pentagon’s request, while the House authorized three ships, made in two versions by Lockheed Martin and Austal USA.
  • Cyber: While both versions include provisions that provide funding for cyberspace activities and increasing cybersecurity capabilities, the Senate version addresses Russian cyber attacks, whereas the House version only makes mention of Chinese “malicious cyber activities.” The Senate NDAA specifically authorizes the White House and Secretary of Defense “to direct U.S. Cyber Command to take appropriate and proportional action through cyberspace to disrupt, defeat, and deter systematic and ongoing attacks by Russia in cyberspace.”

The Bottom Line: For all the differences between the two versions, both chambers address aircraft and ship procurement needs as enumerated by the Pentagon, and provide funding to help bolster U.S. capabilities in areas like missile defense and cyber. The breakdown of allocations is only slightly different in both versions, and any discrepancies will eventually be worked out when the bill goes to conference committee as early as late summer.


Appropriations Progress and 302(b) Allocations – How the Funding Breaks Down

Secretary of Defense James Mattis and General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee in May.

The Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL.) and Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced 302(b) Subcommittee allocations for FY19 last Thursday after the first full committee markup. All 12 subcommittee allocations must adhere to the $1.244 trillion discretionary spending cap set earlier this year by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which includes $647 billion for defense funding, $597 billion for non-defense funding, and $77 billion in funding for OCO. In the Senate, a markup of the Defense Appropriations Act for FY19 is expected the week of June 25-29.
302(b) allocations in the Senate: $607 billion for defense funding, $67.9 billion for OCO. $21.9 billion is also allocated for DOE defense related activities as part of the Energy subcommittee.
The House Appropriations Committee (HAC) also approved their 302(b) allocations in adherence with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, submitting their report on Wednesday of last week. The 302(b) allocations in the House are $607 billion total.

 

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL).

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

 

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