By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC
The House Appropriations Committee approved on July 13 its fiscal year (FY) 2022 Defense appropriations bill with a vote of 33 to 23, along party lines, which would provide a total of $706.5 billion, an increase of $9.978 billion above the FY 2021 enacted level and a decrease of $258 million below the FY 2022 President’s budget request, to the Department of Defense (DOD). This bill is one of the few bills that has not yet been passed by the House, due to disagreements between Democrats and Republicans over provisions included in the bill.
The bill proposed a 1.4 percent decrease to research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) accounts across the Department relative to the FY 2022 President’s budget request. Despite this, RDT&E is still set to reach its largest budget ever at a total of $110.4 billion, a 2.7 percent increase from the FY 2021. Science and technology (S&T) accounts however would be cut by 4.8 percent compared to FY 2021 enacted amounts, though they would increase by 9 percent compared to the FY 2022 budget request. Funding under the House’s FY 2022 defense appropriations bill includes:
- $3.5 billion for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
- $186.6 million unrestricted RDT&E funding for the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC).
- Defense health research and development would be funded at $1.8 billion, a 23 percent decrease compared to the FY 2021 enacted level.
The bill identified emerging challenges such as DOD’s role in combating climate change, growing support for domestic manufacturing capabilities, and sustained research in industries of the future such as artificial intelligence (AI).
It is expected that the House, as well as the Senate, will work to pass the bill in September after returning from August recess. The delays caused by a late budget request, the debate around infrastructure, and disagreements between Democrats and Republicans over defense spending adds to the growing probability that Congress will likely pass a continuing resolution (CR) before the beginning of the next fiscal year, in order to give themselves more time to negotiate an agreement on federal funding.
Sources and Additional Information
- The Subcommittee’s Defense bill report can be found here.
- A comprehensive analysis of the bill can be found here.
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