The Source

House Committee Approves Defense Spending Bill

On June 29, the House Appropriations Committee approved, by voice vote, the FY2018 Defense spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The Defense Subcommittee approved the bill on June 26 in a closed session.

The bill provides $584.2 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Defense. This amount is $68.1 billion above FY2017 and $18.4 billion above the president’s request. 

According to the committee report, the legislation would allocate $10 million for the recruitment, training, and retention of women in the Afghanistan National Security forces. In addition, the bill would provide $8 million for HIV prevention activities and humanitarian assistance activities conducted primarily in African nations.

Among other provisions, the legislation also includes $120 million for the breast cancer research program, $20 million for ovarian cancer research, and $25 million for the implementation and expansion of the sexual assault special victims’ counsel program.

The measure notes that lupus disproportionately affects women and minorities and would provide $5 million for peer-reviewed lupus research.

Expressing its ongoing concern about military sexual assault, the committee would direct the secretary of Defense and the director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office to brief the House and Senate Appropriations Committees on DoD’s efforts to “address ongoing sexual assault scandals, as well as recent efforts to prevent, respond to, and adjudicate sexual assault cases.”

The chart below summarizes funding levels for programs important to women and their families.

Program/Agency

FY2017

President’s FY2018 Request

FY2018

Military Personnel

$128.725 billion

$133.881 billion

$132.977 billion

Defense Health Program

$33.781 billion

$33.664 billion

$33.931 billion