Washington, D.C. —The House Armed Services Committee tonight approved the comprehensive National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, legislation which provides $690 billion for the Department of Defense and the national security activities within the Department of Energy for the next fiscal year. The legislation would authorize $553 billion for the Department of Defense’s base budget, $119 billion for overseas contingency operations and $18 billion for the Department of Energy’s atomic energy defense programs.
U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, praised Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Republican and Democratic leaders of the panel’s subcommittees and all Members of the committee for their hard work in crafting an annual defense authorization bill which and the Members of the committee:
McKeon’s comments follow:
“I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to Ranking Member Smith and all members of this committee who have worked so hard to craft this critical piece of legislation. I’d like to thank the members for their professionalism and willingness to set aside partisanship. This bill once again demonstrates that support for our troops is a higher priority than personal politics.
“Today we presented legislation that advances our national security aims, provides the proper care and logistical support for our fighting forces, and helps us meet the defense challenges of the 21st century.
“I think it’s particularly appropriate to praise our subcommittee chairs and ranking members for their tireless dedication and commitment. Despite the delayed submission of the President’s budget request and our work to pass the unfinished business of the last Congress, our members and staff worked tirelessly on a much tighter deadline to craft this legislation.
“The legislation we passed today makes good on many of my early promises to scrutinize the Department of Defense’s budget and identify inefficiencies that could be re-invested into higher national security priorities. Up until now, the Pentagon has taken a band-aid approach to acquisition and management problems and has done little to identify the root causes of the inefficiencies that exist within the defense enterprise.
“The 2012 defense bill reflects the fact that members of the Armed Services Committee, the broader Congress—and the nation—must make tough choices in order to provide for America’s common defense. We must examine every aspect of the defense enterprise—not as a target for arbitrary funding reductions as the current Administration has proposed—but to find ways that we can accomplish the mission of providing for the common defense more effectively.”
In discussing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, McKeon pointed to the following goals which were achieved through the legislation:
- Ensures our troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world have the equipment, resources, authorities, training, and time they need to successfully complete their missions and return home;
- Provides our warfighters and their families with the resources and support they need, deserve, and have earned;
- Invests in the capabilities and force structure needed to protect the United States from current and future threats;
- Mandates fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability within the Department of Defense; and
- Incentivizes competition for every tax-payer dollar associated with funding Department of Defense requirements.
McKeon continued, “The process used to craft this legislation was historic. We have had the most transparent process in the history of this institution. A copy of my mark was distributed to Committee members’ offices on Friday—a full five days before the markup. As well, the legislation, including the funding tables, was posted online on Monday. It is also noteworthy that –in accordance with new House rules for the 112th Congress—the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012 contains no earmarks.”