TPA Details Taxpayer Friendly (and Unfriendly) List of Amendments to Defense Spending Bill

David Williams

July 23, 2013

As the House of Representatives continues debate on H.R. 2397, the 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is providing members a detailed guide on specific amendments and how they affect taxpayers.  TPA takes a clear stand on these proposed amendments and explains how each of them could have positive or negative results for the country.

It is time for Congress to take steps to ensure that the Department of Defense is given the necessary tools to defend the country and not use this legislation to waste valuable resources.  With 20 years of experience hunting and exposing earmarks, TPA President David Williams has flagged the below items with the label “Earmark Alert” as potential earmarks. TPA will continue to monitor these amendments as the spending bill makes its way through the House, Senate, and eventually conference committee.

Amendment #4 (formerly Amendment #83) by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.): Increases the Defense Health Program Account by $10 million to specifically target finding a cure for Gulf War Illness which directly affects over one fourth of veterans from the first Gulf War.  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #6 (formerly Amendment #107) by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.): Makes a symbolic cut of $1 million to the Defense Human Resources Activity, Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide, account. Funds are reinserted at the same place, with the intent of encouraging a study on how the Defense Human Resources Activity components and the Chief Information Officer identify, catalogue, process, notify appropriate personnel, and rectify mistakes or inconsistencies found when data is uploaded to the Defense Manpower Data Center. VOTE NO!

Amendment #14 (formerly Amendment #92) by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) Strikes $107,000,000 for 14 Ground-based Interceptors and reduces the deficit by the same amount.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #15 (formerly Amendment #53) by Rep. Earl Blumeauer (D-Ore.) and  Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.): Reduces funding for the Ohio-class submarines by 10 percent to help prepare the Department of Defense for the sequestration.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #16 (formerly Amendment #122) by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.): Makes available from amounts available for the Department of Defense for research, development, test, and evaluation $10,000,000 for applied research to improve the safety of advanced batteries, specifically lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.  VOTE NO!

Amendment #17 (formerly Amendment #142) by Rep. Rich Nugent (R-Fla.): Reduces appropriations for Defense-wide rapid innovation and increases the appropriations to develop a high power microwave cruise missile weapon.  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #18 (formerly Amendment #138) by Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.): Transfers $15,000,000 to Defense-Wide RDTE for producing the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense program in the United States, including for infrastructure, tooling, transferring data, special test equipment, and related components. VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #19 (formerly Amendment #128) by Rep. Ben Lujan (D-N.M.), Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.): Reduces RDT&E by $10 million and adds $10 million to RDT&E for Operationally Responsive Space (ORS). VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #20 (formerly Amendment #125) by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Rep. John Garamandi (D-Calif.), and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.): Cuts $70 million of unrequested funds for the East Coast Missile Defense site and dedicate that funding to deficit reduction instead. VOTE YES!

Amendment #21 (formerly Amendment #118) by Rep. Carol Shea Porter (D-N.H.), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.): Designates funding to study the Therapeutic Service Dog Training Program, which was directed in House Report 113-102 accompanying the FY14 NDAA.  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #24 (formerly Amendment 14) 
by Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.): Increases Defense wide O/M by $1 billion, while reducing funding in the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund by $2.6 billion. The reduction would be in order to give DOD more flexibility to offset civilian furloughs.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #26 (formerly Amendment #97) by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.): Provides $30 million for the purchase of emergency response medical equipment sets for National Guard M997A3 HMMWV ambulances to ensure they carry adequate life-saving equipment.  VOTE NO!

Amendment #27 (formerly Amendment #59) by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), and Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.): Reduces the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund by $79 million and transfer the savings to the Spending Reduction Account.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #28 (formerly Amendment #64) by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.): Reduces appropriations for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund by $279,000,000 and apply the savings to the spending reduction account. VOTE YES

Amendment #29 (formerly Amendment #66) by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.):  Reduces the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund, a poorly managed fund that has wasted taxpayer dollars on failed projects, from $279 million to $140 million and transfers the savings to deficit reduction.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #30 (formerly Amendment #43) Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Rep. John Garamandi (D-Calif.), Rep. Patrick Murphy (R-Fla.), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.): Decreases the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund by $553.8M (contract to Rosoboronexport for 30 Mi-17 helicopters) and increases the Spending Reduction Account by the same amount.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #31 (formerly Amendment #63) by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.): Reduces appropriations for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund by $60 million and increase appropriations for the Defense Health Program by $14 million. Within this increase, $13 million in additional funds would be provided to fund peer-reviewed traumatic brain injury and psychological health research and $1 million in additional funds would be provided to fund peer reviewed alcohol and substance abuse disorders research in order to ensure the Department meets the health needs of American military personnel.  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #32 (formerly Amendment #68) by Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.): Adds $10 million to the Defense Health Program for suicide prevention awareness and outreach in the Overseas Contingency Operations account, which is offset by reductions to the Afghan Security Forces Fund. VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #33 (formerly Amendment #57) by Rep. John Garamandi (D-Calif.): Cuts $2,615,000,000 from the Afghan Security Forces Fund. VOTE YES!

Amendment #36 (formerly Amendment #48) by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.):  Prohibits funds in the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund from being used to commence new projects.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #39 (formerly Amendment #35) by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.): Provides that none of the funds made available by this Act may be used to propose, plan for, or execute an additional Base Realignment and Closure round.  VOTE NO!

Amendment #46 (formerly Amendment #41) by Mike Quigley (D-Il.): Limits funds made available in the bill to operate and maintain no more than 300 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. VOTE YES!

Amendment #47 (formerly Amendment #88) by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.): Prohibits funds from being used to implement the Trans Regional Web Initiative.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #55 (formerly Amendment #44) by Reps. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mike Coffman (R-Col.) and Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.): Reduces funds made available in the Overseas Contingency Operations budget by $3,546,000,000 to better correspond with the President’s request. Protects all amounts made available for the National Guard and Reserve Component Equipment modernization shortfalls for homeland defense and emergency response.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #65 (formerly Amendment #98) by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.):  Prevents the retirement, divestment, transfer, or preparation to do so of C-23 aircraft used by the National Guard and to designate $34 million for the sustainment and operation of the C-23 aircraft in a viable state.  VOTE NO!

Amendment #66 (formerly Amendment #39) by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D- Hawaii): Prohibits funds from being used to implement an enrollment fee in the TRICARE for Life program.  VOTE NO!

Amendment #68 (formerly Amendment #119) by Reps. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) and Mike Coffman (R-Col.): Prevents funds from being used to maintain or improve facilities that DOD lists as being completely unused.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #75 (formerly Amendment #172) by Reps. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), and Judy Chu (D-Calif.): Provides $10 million in additional funds to increase training for investigators to properly investigate sexual assault related offenses.  VOTE NO!  (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #76 (formerly Amendment #26) by Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.): Reduces the Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide account (with the intention of cutting the Office of the Sec. of Defense) by $10 million and increases the Defense Health Program by a similar amount to create a pilot program to assist service individuals suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #77 (formerly Amendment #127) by Reps. Jim Bridenstein (R-Okla.), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), and Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam): Increases funding by $10 million for the National Guard State Partnership Program, split evenly between the Army National Guard (Operations & Maintenance, Army National Guard) and Air Force National Guard (Operations & Maintenance, Air Force National Guard), which is offset by $11m reduction to Defense Media Activity (Operations & Maintenance, Defense-wide) account.  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #78 (formerly Amendment #8) by Reps. David McKinley (R-W.V.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), and Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.): Increases the Youth Challenge Program under Civil Military Programs within the Operations and Maintenance, Defense-Wide account by $10,000,000. Decreases by $10,000,000 under Operations and Maintenance, Defense-Wide the general account for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #79 (formerly Amendment #126) by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.): Reduces the department-wide Operations & Maintenance account by $3 million, then increases it by the same amount with the intent to combat illicit poaching and trafficking of animal products commonly linked to terrorism and armed conflict. VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #80 (formerly Amendment #55) by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.): Increases the funding to the Defense Health Program by $5 million for the purposes of reducing military hazing and suicides.  VOTE NO!  (EARMARK ALERT

Amendment #81 (formerly Amendment #79) by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.): Reduces the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Defense-Wide account by $10 million and increases the Defense Health Program account by $10 million in order to bolster prostate cancer research efforts.  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #83 (formerly Amendment #99) by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.): Increases funding by $5,000,000 for the STARBASE Youth Program which falls under the Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide and reduce the same amount from the Maintenance, Defense-Wide, Office of the Secretary of Defense account.  VOTE NO! (EARMARK ALERT)

Amendment #84 (formerly Amendment #69) by Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Ct.):  Reduces funding for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund by $25,000,000 and redirects those funds to the Spending Reduction Account.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #89 (formerly Amendment #110) by Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), Bill Keating (D-Mass.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), and David Valadao (R-Calif.):  Prohibits the Secretary of the Air Force from using FY14 funds for the reduction in force structure at Lajes Field, Azores Portugal.  VOTE NO!

Amendment #91 (formerly Amendment #40) by Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.): Prohibits the Department of Defense from using any funds to propose, plan for, or execute an additional Base Realignment and Closure round involving military installations located within the United States.  VOTE NO! 

Amendment #93 (formerly Amendment #73) by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.): Prevents contracts from being awarded to contractors who have been convicted within the last three years for crimes against the federal government such as fraud, theft, bribery, making false statements, and tax evasion.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #99 (formerly Amendment #147) by Rep. Rich Nugent (R-Fla.): Ensures none of the funds may be used by the NSA to target a US person or acquire and store the content of a US person’s communications, including phone calls and emails.  VOTE YES!

Amendment #100 (formerly Amendment #101) by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Jared Polis (D-Col.), and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.): Ends authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. Bars the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215.  VOTE YES!