In the flurry of activity surrounding the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget, it might be easy to forget that the FY 2017 appropriations have yet to be finalized. In September and then again in December, Congress went down to the wire in passing short-term continuing resolutions (CR), the latter of which funds the government through April 28 (PL 114-254). Appropriating committees are picking up where they left off last year, with the House Appropriations Committee last week introducing their newest version of the Department of Defense Appropriators Act, 2017 (H.R. 1301).
The bill, which is consistent with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (S. 2943; PL 114-328), funds critical national security needs and is similar to the version that passed the House last summer. It would provide $577.9 billion for the Department of Defense, an increase of $5.2 billion over FY 2016’s enacted level and $1.6 billion more than the Obama administration’s request for FY 2017. The bill appropriates $72.7 billion for research, development, testing, and evaluation of new defense technologies, with $72.3 billion for base requirements and the remaining $407 million for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism requirements. While Basic Research would be cut 1.4% below the FY 16 enacted levels, the $2.3 billion represents an 8.3 percent increase from the FY 2017 budget request. Applied Research and Advanced Technology Development would both see increases relative to the FY 2016 enacted numbers, with jumps to $5.3 billion (a 5.8 percent increase) and 6.4 billion (an 8.4 percent increase), respectively. Full details for the bill will be available on our website next week. The bill is slated to be voted on the House floor Wednesday.