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"YES" on the following amendments to H.R. 4870, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2015
June 19, 2014
H.R. 4870, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2015, marks a significant missed opportunity to restrain military spending and address longstanding waste at the Pentagon amid persistent debt and deficits that continue to create economic uncertainty. While the legislation does technically stay within the more generous spending levels outlined in the Ryan-Murray budget agreement, it does so by avoiding tough decisions and shifting funds to protect pet programs. The legislation does the Pentagon and taxpayers no favors by further kicking the can down on the road and making future changes all the harder.
Specifically, H.R. 4870 perpetuates wasteful spending by cutting funding that would support the 2017 round of Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC), an initiative that would eliminate unnecessary military properties and reap compounding savings for taxpayers. The legislation also rejects common-sense personnel benefit reforms put forward by the Administration concerning TRICARE, housing allowances, and commissaries in an attempt to rein in what is becoming an increasingly large proportion of the defense budget. Though the Administration has not provided a specific Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget request, the outsized $79.4 billion stipulated in H.R. 4870 far eclipses the anticipated costs of our diminished role in Afghanistan and practically ensures further base budget expenses will be shifted off the books to OCO. The legislation also includes billions of dollars in unrequested funds for equipment the Pentagon has stated it does not need, such four more F-35s than requested, M-1 Abrams tank upgrades, and an additional EA-18G aircraft.
Still, lawmakers have the opportunity to improve on the underlying legislation and to that end, NTU urges Representatives to vote as follows on amendments to H.R. 4870:
NTU will consider “YES” votes on the following amendments to be the pro-taxpayer position:
Roll call votes on the above amendments to H.R. 4870 will be included in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700