Vote Explanation for H.R. 5293 — Fiscal Year 2017 Department of Defense Appropriations Act
This legislation appropriates $517.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) for the Department of Defense — plus an additional $58.6 billion in discretionary budget authority designated for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which funds U.S. military operations in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and other regions through a separate spending account.
House Republicans added $15.7 billion to the Administration’s non-war funding request and used the OCO account to exempt this spending from the budget caps agreed to in last fall’s Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. In doing so, the bill underfunds expected war fighting costs and does not provide funding to pay for salaries or provide mission support for men and women serving abroad past the end of April 2017.
While I am concerned that this legislation uses funding gimmicks to get around the spending limits that were agreed to by Congress and the President, the bill will fund many of the important programs at the Department of Defense — including several initiatives that I pushed for in the National Defense Authorization Act — that improve our counter-ISIL strategy, support our troops, and enhance our national security. That is why I supported H.R. 5293, which passed the House with bipartisan support, 282–138.