House committee approves FY2014 Coast Guard appropriations

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) approved FY2014 appropriations for the Coast Guard. Coast Guard appropriations are included in the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.

The HAC approved $8.4 billion in FY2014 discretionary appropriations for the Coast Guard, about $350 million more than the budget request. The bill also identifies $1.5 billion in Coast Guard retired pay mandatory spending.

The HAC bill would not provide funding for Coast Guard Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) costs. Necessary OCO funding for the Coast Guard would be provided through transfers from DOD appropriations.

Operating expenses totaling $6.8 billion are funded in the bill, $84 million higher than the request.  The 1 percent pay raise requested for Coast Guard military personnel would be fully funded in the bill. Funding would be increased to reduce the depot level maintenance backlog (+$32 million) and to restore training cuts (+$43 million). Additional funding is also included to prevent the proposed retirement of two HC-130H aircraft and to prevent the decommissioning of one High Endurance Cutter. The HAC would also deny the request to close two seasonal air facilities.

The bill would increase the request for acquisition, construction, and improvements by $272 million.  Funding would be increased to buy two additional Fast Response Cutters (+$130 million), to replace two MH-60 helicopters (+$30 million), and to buy one missionized Long Range Surveillance Aircraft (+$92 million). The bill would add $77 million to fund long-lead time materials for a National Security Cutter, NSC-8. However, total NSC funding would be reduced by $12 million due to HAC-proposed reductions for contract savings and deferred funding for post-delivery activities. The bill would increase funding for military housing by $18 million to help close family housing gaps the HAC says exist at various locations.

The HAC report expressed the committee’s concern that the Coast Guard has not submitted a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) with the FY2014 budget request as required. As a result of this concern, the HAC bill would withhold $168 million from Coast Guard Headquarters offices until the CIP is submitted.

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