Senate Defense Authorization Bill: Funding for S&T Programs

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Publication date: 
21 June 2012
Number: 
89

The  Senate Armed Services Committee released its report accompanying S. 3254, the  National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 on June 8.  This bill recommends a decrease in total spending  for the three defense science and technology programs, as did the Administration’s  request and the House defense authorization bill,  with all three figures approximately the same. 

The House and Senate authorization bills provide  policy and spending parameters for defense science and technology programs, but  do not provide actual funding. 

The following figures are from Senate Report 112-173,  starting on page 364. 

Total  Basic Research:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $2,116.5 million     The FY 2013 budget request was $2,116.9 million     The House authorization bill recommendation is $2,130.4  million, an increase of $13.9 million or 0.7 percent     The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $2,116.9  million, an increase of $0.4 million, essentially flat funding

Total  6.2 Applied Research:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $4,748.4 million     The FY 2013 budget request was $4,478.0 million     The House authorization bill recommendation is $4,498.3  million, a decrease of $250.1 million or 5.3 percent     The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $4,478.0  million, a decrease of $270.4 million or 5.7 percent

Total  6.3 Advanced Technology Development:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $5,573.3 million     The FY 2013 budget request was $5,266.2 million     The House authorization bill recommendation is $5,266.2,  a decrease of $307.1 million or 5.5 percent     The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $5,281.9  million, a decrease of $291.4 million or 5.2 percent

Total  6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $12,438.2 million     The FY 2013 budget request was $11,861.1 million     The House authorization bill recommendation is $11,894.9  million, a decrease of $543.3 million or 4.4 percent     The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $11,876.8  million, a decrease of $561.4 million or 4.5 percent

 

Total  Army 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $2,529.8 million     The FY 2013 budget request was $2,209.5 million     The House authorization bill recommendation is $2,219.8  million, a decrease of $310.0 million or 12.3 percent     The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $2,209.5  million, a decrease of $320.3 million or 12.7 percent

Total  Navy 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $2,122.3 million     The FY 2013 budget request was $1,979.7 million     The House authorization bill recommendation is $1,993.2  million, a decrease of $129.1 million or 6.1 percent     The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $1,979.7  million, a decrease of $142.6 million or 6.7 percent

Total  Air Force 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $2,378.7 million     The FY 2013 budget request was $2,221.8 million     The House authorization bill recommendation is $2,231.8  million, a decrease of $146.9 million or 6.2 percent     The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $2,221.8  million, a decrease of $156.9 million or 6.6 percent

Total  Defense-Wide 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $5,407.4 million     The FY 2013 budget request was $5,450.1 million     The House authorization bill recommendation is $5,450.1  million, an increase of $42.7 million or 0.8 percent

 

The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $5,465.8  million, an increase of $58.4 million or 0.1 percent

The Senate report section on Title II Research, Development, Test and Evaluation begins on page  37.  Of note is a section on page 69:

“Department  of Defense labs workforce and infrastructure

“As a key element of the Department of Defense’s  (DOD’s) roughly $12.0 billion per year science and technology portfolio, its  laboratories contribute to a broad range of science and technology activities, ranging  from conducting Nobel-prize winning basic research to rapidly developing and  fielding capabilities for the warfighter. The lab enterprise includes 62  organizations spread across 22 states with a total workforce of about 60,000  employees, more than half of whom are degreed scientists and engineers. In  certain critical national security-related areas, these organizations - and  more importantly, the highly skilled scientists, engineers and technicians in them  - are national assets.

“The committee understands that among the numerous  challenges facing the DOD lab enterprise, two key issues require focused and sustained  attention:       (a) recruiting and retaining the best and brightest  scientists, engineers, and technicians; and       (b) modernizing aging infrastructure.

“Congress has provided a number of authorities to  the labs over the years, including direct hiring authority of scientists and  engineers with advanced degrees. However, in testimony before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities  Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Armed Services on April 17, 2012, it  appears that there may be a need for the labs to have a similar authority for  scientists, engineers, and technicians with undergraduate technical degrees  with unique skills, expertise, and experience.

“Hence, the committee directs each service science  and technology executive, consulting with the Assistant Secretary of Defense  for Research and Engineering and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel  and Readiness, to submit a report to the congressional defense committees not  later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act that will describe whether  direct hiring authority of undergraduate scientists and engineers is required,  and provide an explanation why existing authorities under the laboratory personnel  demonstration program authorized by section 342 of the National Defense  Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995 (Public Law 103–337), as amended, are  not sufficient to meet this need for direct hiring authority.

“Concerning aging laboratory infrastructure, the  committee is pleased that the Army has initiated a survey of its laboratory  infrastructure and directs the Navy and Air Force to undertake similar surveys  of its laboratory infrastructure. In addition, the committee understands the  Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is also conducting  a survey of the DOD’s laboratories.  The  committee directs the services to brief the congressional defense committees on  the results of their surveys no later than March 1, 2013.”

Also of note is the following report language on  page 193 explaining a provision in the Senate’s bill:

“Sense  of Congress on non-United States citizens who are graduates of United States  educational institutions with advanced degrees in science, technology,  engineering, and mathematics (sec. 1083)

“The committee recommends a provision that would  express a sense of Congress that would strongly urge the Department of Defense  to investigate innovative mechanisms to access the pool of talent of non-United  States citizens with advanced scientific and technical degrees from United  States institutions of higher learning.

“The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal  Year 2012 (Public Law 112–81) contains a provision directing the Secretary of Defense  to conduct an assessment of current and potential mechanisms to permit the  Department of Defense to employ non-United States citizens with critical scientific  and technical skills that are vital to the national security interests of the  United States. The committee is awaiting this report, due by the end of  calendar year 2012.

“In testimony before the Subcommittee on Emerging  Threats and Capabilities of the Senate Committee on Armed Services on April 17,  2012, Department of Defense science and technology executives expressed concern  over the possible unintended consequences of       taking significant action on this front. The  committee understands the trepidation expressed by the service executives, but  feels strongly that the most substantial unintended consequence of lack of  action will be the significant loss of technical talent to the country.”

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