The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Wednesday approved its $694.6 billion fiscal year 2021 defense spending legislation by a voice vote, with the bill next headed for a full-committee mark-up hearing.

“This legislation recognizes the complex challenges the members of our Armed Forces and intelligence community face every day throughout the world, and it aims to ensure that they are able to continue to meet these challenges and complete their missions to the best of their abilities with providing funding for the equipment they need to perform their missions effectively and as safely as possible,” Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), the subcommittee chairman, said during Wednesday’s closed hearing.

Low angled view of the U.S. Capitol East Facade Front in Washington, D.C.

 The bill includes $758 million to assist industrial base suppliers affected by the pandemic and details to cover 91 F-35s, 12 more than was included in the president’s budget request and providing $22.3 billion for Navy shipbuilding, $2.4 billion above the request (Defense Daily, July 7). 

The subcommittee also recommended more than halving the $4 billion in general reprogramming authority and $2 billion in overseas contingency operations special authority granted to DoD by Congress in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 (Defense Daily, July 7). 

“Additionally, this bill again contains several provisions to address the Department’s wanton disregard for congressional intent.  As I stated last year, these actions are not taken lightly, but are absolutely necessary in order to allow Congress to carry out its Article I responsibilities,” Visclosky said.