DoD Budget: Fiscal 2013-17 Highlights, Numbers & Unfolding Events
March 2013: Continuing resolution and defense appropriations. In early March the House of Representatives introduced then quickly passed HR 933 with a 267-151 roll call including 53 Democratic yeas and 14 Republican nays. That bill came as a mix of appropriations for defense and veteran affairs, and a continuing resolution for everyone else, until the end of the current fiscal year.
Senator Barbara A. Mikulski [D-MD], the new Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, then turned that bill into half of an omnibus by adding appropriations to more departments like Commerce and Agriculture, but otherwise not touching much the defense core of the House bill. Though some Republican senators objected to what could arguably be construed as bloat, in the end the amendment process was relatively quick. Whether to kill MEADS outright, or euthanize it with a bit of mercy was one of the sticking points, but the Senate passed the bill 73-26 on March 20.
The amended text then flew through the House with a 318-109 roll call, and on March 26 the President signed the bill. It does not lift the sequestration, but it lets DoD spend through the rest of the fiscal year more wisely than under the constraint of a CR.
On normal years the US Department of Defense goes through a complicated-enough process to establish and finalize its budget. But whereas FY 2012 offered a welcome return to normalcy after a very long continuing resolution, the budgeting cycle for fiscal year 2013 unfolded in an unproductive, fractious political environment.
As fiscal year 2012 came to a close Congress bought time with a continuing resolution. And as the new civil year started, Congress begrudgingly applied a short-term patch to avoid the fiscal cliff, while the President eventually signed a FY13 authorization bill containing language he had threatened to veto for months. By March 2013 everyone seemed to capitulate to wrap up appropriations for the rest of the year. But FY13 appropriations ended up including sequestration, an outcome that few had predicted since the Budget Control Act was passed in 2011. The FY14 budget cycle then started late, with only dim hope of a more reasonable outcome.
Conference and Final Bill
Continuing Resolution & Sequestration
President Budget Request (PB13)
Research Development Test & Evaluation (RDT&E)
Basing, Infrastructure, and Personnel
Future Years Defense Program (FYDP)
Additional Readings & Sources
Appendix I: NDAA FY13 Congressional Hearings
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