House Appropriations Committee Passes Defense Bill
On June 14, the House Committee on Appropriations passed its FY 2012 Defense Appropriations bill, which includes $530 billion in basic spending - $9 billion less than the President requested for FY 2012. Despite the decrease, the legislation increases base funding for the Department of Defense by $17 billion over the FY 2011 budget.
In its report, the Committee said that Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Efficiency (EASE) concept had merit, but the proposal lacked implementation details. The report outlined three main issues the Committee had with the EASE proposal:
- Use of advance appropriations
- Lack of detail regarding the Capabilities/Affordability Insertion Program (CAIP)
- No "vision" of what lies beyond the current block buy of advanced extremely high frequency (AEHF) and space based infrared system (SBIRS) satellites
The Committee did state that it fully supports the idea of reinvesting the savings accrued from block buys and incremental funding into the evolution of the next generation of AEHF and SBIRS satellite systems.
In formulating the budget decrease, the Committee recommended a funding a number of space programs a lower levels than the President's request:
- $277.4 million for the mobile user objective system (MUOS) - a $205 million cut - because the Navy launch of its fourth satellite has been delayed beyond FY 2012
- $907.3 million for the AEHF satellite system - down $67.18 million
- $225 million for the defense weather satellite system - cut $220 million
- $351 million for development of the GPS III operational control segment -- down $48 million
- $413 million for the GPS III space segment - down $50 million
- $1.566 billion for four evolved expendable launch vehicles (EELV) - $173.8 million less than the President's request
The Committee also recommended funding some programs at higher levels than the President's request:
- $816 million for wideband global system satellites - up $335 million
- $107.7 million for GPS IIF production readiness - up $40 million
The bill will now go to the full House for consideration.