Congressman Tim Ryan Statement on Appropriations Committee Approval of the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Bill

Jun 29, 2017

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement on the Appropriations Committee Approval of the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Bill.

“I take my role on the Appropriations Committee and Defense Subcommittee very seriously. I am honored to use my positon to continue to ensure that our military has the resources it needs to defend our nation. Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are the best in the world and I am committed they will remain supported by the best equipment and training in the world.” said Congressman Ryan.

Important highlights of the bill includes:

A 2.4% pay increase for servicemembers, which is designed to keep military pay on pace with anticipated civilian sector wage growth.  This is higher than the president’s budget recommendation of 2.1% which would have disadvantaged our armed forces.

  • I am proud entering this Independence Day weekend to be on a Congressional committee that prioritizes the servicemembers who give us the privilege of freedom.
  • Equalizing the military pay raise with anticipated civilian sector wage growth prevents honors the fact our servicemembers are the lynchpin of our military might.  It keeps our defense strong by allowing us to recruit and retain the highest quality servicemembers.
  • We must continue to communicate to our servicemembers that we realize equipment without warfighters is meaningless. 

$10M of funding for additive manufacturing training.

  • Youngstown’s America Makes has revolutionized our Defense readiness through 3D printing and other additive manufacturing initiatives.  
  • This investment will continue to strengthen Department of Defense's additive manufacturing capabilities in keeping our equipment working and our troops safe.

Almost $1B in counterdrug funding including $201M in funding for National Guard opioid experts.

  • In Ohio, the National Guard partners with law enforcement to fight the opioid crisis that is ravaging our state.
  • Funding counterdrug work strengthens our national security and directly supports Ohio efforts to defeat this epidemic. 

Fully funds the European Reassurance Initiative.

  • Ohio National Guard is doing great work in this mission and our continued full funding support will honor their commitment to our national security.
  • Our strength in balancing Russian aggression and strengthening our NATO alliances is critical. 

Continues to refuse funds for another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

  • The administration failed to present a clear and cognizant plan to avoid cost overruns and savings shortages that occurred during the disastrous 2005 BRAC. 
  • GAO found the 2005 BRAC cost the government $35.1B and had a 67% overgrowth from initial cost estimates.  The net value for the anticipated 20 years of savings decreased by more than 72%.  41% of the 2005 BRAC recommendations cost the government more money than it will save.   
  • Until a solid plan is presented to avoid repeating this waste, I refuse to strip money from the Department of Defense to pay for a BRAC while our servicemembers are fighting simultaneous conflicts throughout the globe. 

Funds key health research needs for our servicemembers including:

  • Research into hypoxia prevention in the F-35s
  • $120M in peer-reviewed breast cancer research
  • $90M in peer-reviewed prostate cancer research
  • $20M in peer-reviewed ovarian cancer research
  • $5M in funding for service dogs for wounded warriors
  • Funds non-opiate pain management initiatives
  • Language to support PTSD research

Fund critical defense needs including:

  • Aircraft Carrier replacements and three submarines.  These national security assets are powered through the innovation of Ohioans at BWXT
  • Upgrades to the M1A2 Abrams and Stryker Vehicles which are spearheaded by Ohioans

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense (HAC-D) controls approximately $523 billion in discretionary spending for the following departments and agencies: Department of the Army, Department of the Navy (including Marine Corps), Department of the Air Force, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  This spending supports military personnel, operation and maintenance, procurement, research and development, and military health systems.