Senate Committee Approves FY 2014 Defense Spending Bill

On Wednesday, August 1, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY 2014 Defense appropriations bill on a 22-8 vote. For Department of Defense (DOD) R&D, the bill somewhat follows the contours of the version that passed the House July 24, in that it would make fairly minimal changes to the President's request for basic and applied research and early-stage technology development and prototypes, and reserve deeper cuts for downstream technology development in the 6.4 to 6.7 accounts under the DOD classification system.

According to AAAS estimates, the bill would provide $68.6 billion for R&D at the Department of Defense (DOD), compared to $69.3 billion in the House bill and a request of $69.6 billion; the Senate bill is 2.3 percent below the request and 8.3 percent below FY 2012 levels, and would about keep pace with FY 2013 R&D post-sequester. Basic and applied research would increase only slightly ahead of the request; the Senate would also follow the House in nearly doubling medical research funding, including assorted peer-review programs, within the Defense Health Program, restoring deep cuts proposed by the Administration.

The Defense bill is also the 11th appropriations bill to make it out of committee in the Senate this year, with the proposed Interior & Environment bill the lone remaining legislation. However, as with every other spending bill, it remains to be seen whether any numbers passed by either chamber will stand up, given the uncertainty surrounding appropriations this year.

Tables: Congressional Action on DOD R&D
Dept. of Defense R&D
R&D By Military Department and Agency
DOD Basic Research
DOD Science & Technology Budget
Read more: Analysis of the President's Request for DOD R&D