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House Approps Moving Defense Package

Quick and dirty, here are the basic defense spending decisions made by the House Appropriations Committee as Congress races to adjourn for the November elections. Highlights of the continuing resolution (since a stand-alone appropriations bill won't be passed) include funding for one DDG-1000, $750 million for ISR needs, the JSF second engine program and advance funding for 20 more F-22s.

Shipbuilding: $14.1 billion (same as administration's request). Congress wants to build eight ships -- one more than the request. Here's the list: one LPD-17 Amphibious Transport Dock; one DDG-1000 Guided Missile Destroyer; one Virginia Class Submarine; two Littoral Combat Ships; two T-AKE cargo ships; and one Intra-Theater Troop Transport Ship.

Planes: Joint Strike Fighter: $6.3 billion, same as the administration's request but Congress slices the money differently, including $2.9 billion for 14 aircraft (two fewer than the request) and $430 million for the second engine program that was not included in the president's request, for a total of $3.4 billion in RDTandE. F-22: The House will almost certainly approve $2.9 billion for 20 F-22s, but another $523 million (not requested) is included for advance procurement of anotherl 20 F-22s.

Ground systems: Future Combat Systems: The House approved $3.6 billion, $26 million more than the budget request to speed up the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Unmanned Ground Vehicle programs.

The continuing resolution includes $150 million in advance procurement money for a fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite that the administration did not want.

Finally, the House appropriators included $750 million that the administration did not request for "urgent intelligence needs," items identified by the Pentagon's ISR Task Force.

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