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Lawmakers Seek $3.1 Billion More in Defense Spending Than Obama

Monday, 07 May 2012 01:58 PM

A House panel that controls annual military expenditures said it is seeking $519.2 billion in basic defense spending, $3.1 billion more than President Barack Obama’s request.

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee said today in a statement that it added $1 billion to buy an extra DDG-51 Aegis-class destroyer, fully funded four Littoral Combat Ships designed to operate close to shore and concurred with the Pentagon’s request for 29 F-35 fighters. The panel also included $723 million in fiscal 2013 as a down payment for the Navy to buy a second Virginia-class submarine in 2014 instead of delaying it beyond 2017 as the service proposed.

The destroyer and submarine would benefit Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. and General Dynamics Corp. Lockheed Martin Corp. would gain from action on the destroyer, the Littoral Combat Ships and F-35. Austal Ltd. also makes a version of the combat ships with General Dynamics.

The subcommittee “worked tirelessly to mitigate risks associated with budget shortfalls in areas such as shipbuilding, force structure, and weapons and facility maintenance,” its chairman, Republican Representative C.W. “Bill” Young of Florida, said in a statement. The panel plans to act on the budget plan tomorrow.

The appropriations panel also called for $88.5 billion, the amount sought by Obama, in additional spending for the war in Afghanistan, the committee said today in the e-mailed statement.

The spending panel’s proposal parallels that of the House Armed Services Committee, which authorizes programs and establishes policy. That committee is scheduled to complete work on its bill May 9. It released a $554 billion bill today that, unlike the appropriations bill, incorporates military construction and Energy Department defense programs. It is $4 billion more than the administration requested.

Both committees are Republican-controlled.

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