A separate House military construction appropriations bill released this weekend bars funding for projects at Confederate-named bases unless a process is devised to rename them.
The House and Senate Armed Services committees, meanwhile, have approved defense policy legislation that would set up processes to rename bases. Trump has threatened to veto a defense bill that attempts to do so.
Another border fight brewing: The bill also bars Pentagon money from being used to build Trump’s border wall after the administration diverted several billion more from weapons and National Guard accounts this year. The military construction bill also blocks border wall money.
The legislation also bars funding for the military to support immigration enforcement agencies at the U.S.-Mexico border unless the agency that requested the aid agrees to reimburse the Pentagon for the cost of the operations.
The bill also would limit Pentagon transfer authority to $1.9 billion amid the fight over reprogramming funds to the border wall, down from the $6 billion lawmakers approved for the current year.
“I regret that this bill again must contain provisions to rein in the Department’s habitual redirection of funding in contravention of Congressional intent,” House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) said in a statement.
But Democrats may be in for another fight on the border. The top House Appropriations Republican, Kay Granger of Texas, sounded the alarm Monday, warning border wall restrictions and other Democratic-led provisions in the 12 annual spending bills would be a major point of contention for the GOP.
By the numbers: The bill allocates $694.6 billion for Pentagon programs — a topline that doesn’t include military construction programs or nuclear weapons initiatives under the Energy Department. Of that total, $626.2 billion is dedicated toward the base Pentagon budget and another $68.4 billion goes to the war-related Overseas Contingency Operations account.
The bill meets, and for some programs exceeds, many of the Pentagon’s requests for military hardware.
Planes: The bill would set aside $9.3 billion for 91 F-35 fighters, 12 more than requested. It also would dedicate $1.7 billion for 24 F/A-18 Super Hornets and $1.2 billion for 12 F-15EX fighters.
Ships: The bill would increase funding for shipbuilding by $2.4 billion above the request to $22.3 billion to buy nine new Navy ships. Appropriators allocated money for two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, two Virginia-class attack submarines, the first new Columbia-class ballistic missile sub, a frigate, an LPD 17 Flight II amphibious ship and two towing, salvage and rescue ships.
Personnel: The bill funds a 3 percent pay increase for troops, matching the Trump administration’s request. It also funds an increase of 12,000 active-duty personnel across the military services, the same as the Pentagon’s plans.
Covid: The bill allocates $758 million in procurement to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on second, third and fourth-tier suppliers in the defense industrial base.
Ukraine: House appropriators set aside $275 million for security assistance to Ukraine, an increase of $25 million from the request. The legislation would exempt the account, which was at the center of Trump’s impeachment, from budgetary apportionment rules and require the Pentagon to notify Congress of delays in obligating the money.
Look ahead: The Defense Appropriations Subcommittee will mark up the bill in a closed session Wednesday afternoon.
All 12 subcommittees will approve their annual government spending bills by Wednesday. And the full Appropriations Committee is expected to advanced five of those bills by Friday. The defense bill is not among the bills set to be considered by the full committee this week.