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house Bill H.R. 4870

Department of Defense Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2015

Argument in favor

Bipartisan support and deficit-aware. Gives Armed Forces personnel a pay raise. Keeps military bases open. Keeps commissary subsidies going. A number of new ships mean good things for American manufacturing .

Argument opposed

The Pentagon's nearly $80 billion dollar slush fund should be cut; giving the DoD a second budget isn't realistic in tough economic times, and especially with a drawdown in Afghanistan impending.

What is House Bill H.R. 4870?

This bill funds national security costs, military operations abroad, and health and quality-of-life programs for members of the Armed Forces and their families. In late May, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)--the bill that decides how much money should be spent. This bill is the appropriations bill, and actually sets that money aside. 

the bill provides $491 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $4.1 billion above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $200 million above the President’s request. In addition, the bill includes $79.4 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) for the ongoing war efforts abroad, the same level assumed in the President’s budget request and in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act.


When enacted, the bill will set aside funds for the Department of Defense (DoD), in addition to setting funding and troop levels for the branches of the Armed Forces. These funding levels in turn affect myriad, defense-related issues and agencies, in addition to weighing on numerous private sector components tied to the defense industry.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4870

$570.00 Billion

More Information


Of Note:

-One surprise that came with the transition from the authorization bill to the appropriation bill was the demise of the A-10 attack jet. In the authorization bill, that jet model received another year of funding, but did not make into this version of the bill, which has made it out of committee and awaits a full vote in the House. Expect many more amendments to this bill; the NDAA bill had 165 of them. 

-The House Appropriations Committee also voted 33-13 to bar the use of federal funds to transfer prisoners from Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

-Not authorized in the NDAA was $79.4 billion for what is known as "Overseas Contingency Operations," a separate Pentagon fund that doesn't count against budget caps outlined in the Budget Control Act of 2011, and that many groups see as a slush fund. That amount, however, remains in the spending bill, and will be part of the House floor vote. 

In Detail: 

According to the American Society of Military Comptrollers, the bill 

-would fund a 1.8 percent military pay raise that is authorized in the House-passed FY2015 Defense Authorization bill. (.8% above the president's request), and rejects an executive proposal to decrease the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH);

-would fund the Defense Health Program (DHP) at $31.6 billion, $360 million below the president's request. The bill would also add $100 million to the Defense Commissary Agency funding level. The president’s budget request proposed a cut in the subsidy to commissary operations; 

-funds Operations and Maintenance (O&M) programs in the amount $165 billion, $1.4 billion below the president's request. Within the amount provided in the bill, an additional $1.2 billion is provided for readiness shortfalls and $791 million to restore funding cuts to facility sustainment and modernization. Offsetting some of these increases are savings from favorable foreign currency fluctuations ($547 million) and overestimated civilian personnel costs ($592 million). The committee also cut about $900 million from O&M accounts for what it called “unjustified program growth";

-provides $91.2 billion for procurement programs, $1.6 billion more than the request. Included in the bill are funds to build six new ships, buy 38 F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) and 7 KC-46A tankers, 12 EA-18G Growlers, 87 H-60 Blackhawk and 37 MH-60S/R helicopters. The House committee rejected the administration’s proposal to delay a decision on refueling the USS George Washington aircraft carrier until 2016 and provides $789 million for the refueling;

-approves the administration’s request to retire the A-10 aircraft. Both the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) versions of the FY2015 Defense Authorization bill would keep the program alive, and the Senate has to vote; 

-funds research and development (R&D) at $63.4 billion, $171 million below the president’s request. Programs receiving R&D funding include: a new Air Force bomber, next generation JSTARS, Future Unmanned Carrier-based Strike System, Army Ground Combat Vehicle, and Marine Corps Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.


Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2015

Official Title

Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
  • The house Passed June 20th, 2014
    Roll Call Vote 340 Yea / 73 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedJune 13th, 2014

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