Tuesday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) conducted a committee markup of the FY2020 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
“The Subcommittee meets this morning to consider the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2020,” said Senator Shelby. “The bill recommends $622.4 billion in base Defense funding, $70.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, and $1.7 billion in emergency funding.”
“The subcommittee held a number of public and classified hearings to get a complete picture of the needs of the Armed Services and intelligence community to better understand how those fit into the President’s budget request,” Sen. Shelby added. “That review has allowed Senator Durbin and me to work together to produce a strong, bipartisan bill. The bill before you continues increases in funding for our nation’s defense that meet the objectives of the National Defense Strategy by improving readiness, investing in innovation, and bolstering the combat effectiveness of the Department of Defense.”
“It provides strong support for our men and women in uniform, including a 3.1 percent pay increase – the largest in ten years,” Shelby continued. “The bill includes significant investments in both basic research and future technologies such as hypersonics, 5G, artificial intelligence, missile defense, and cybersecurity. These investments in future technologies are not only game-changers, but they are essential for our military to maintain its technological superiority. We must continue to make investments today that demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that our Armed Forces are well-trained, well-equipped, and better prepared than any other around the world. This bill does that.”
Shelby said that last year was the first time that Congress funded the military through regular order in a decade and that this is key to ensuring the United States maintains its military advantage.
“Without sustained and predictable investments to restore readiness and modernize our military, we will rapidly lose our military advantage – something we cannot afford in light of increasing national security challenges from around the globe,” Shelby said. “This year we are off to a late start but with the certainty of the budget agreement; stable, two-year funding, and the decision by all parties to eliminate poison pills, I see no reason why we cannot repeat the successes of the fiscal year 2019 appropriations process. It is only on this foundation that we will successfully complete the considerable work that lies ahead.
Shelby thanked Ranking minority member Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) for his commitment to this framework and efforts in crafting this bill.
The proposed budget allocates money for the Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. FVL is one of the Army’s top modernization priorities. The budget also funds the Army’s manned ground vehicle under the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) program. The NGCV is being designed to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Hypersonics also are heavily funded in the NDAA. There is also funding for arming Stryker vehicles with 300 mm cannons.
The plan also includes funding the Next-Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) an automatic 6.8mm rifle that will replace the M249 and M4 carbine family in infantry and other close-combat formations.
Richard Shelby is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its subcommittee on Defense.