2017 Defense Budget

The 2017 defense bill has been signed into law by President Obama and includes a 2.1% military pay increase.

Highlights of the 2017 Defense Budget:

  • A 2.1% military pay increase effective January 1st, 2017.
    • The pay increase will mean about $550 more a year for most junior enlisted troops and about $1,800 for officers.
  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) was increased on average by 2.4%.
    • Congress removed a proposal to award BAH only for actual expenses where proof of rent and utility costs would have be provided.
  • Basic Allowance for Sustenance (BAS) was not increased.
  • The bill includes plans to significantly increase the number of service members. Plans are:
    • Army 476,000 to 492,000
    • Marine Corps 182,000 to 185,000
    • Air Force 317,000 to 321,000
    • Navy would remain unchanged at 324,000
  • The 619 billion bill is about $3.2 billion more than Obama’s request.
  • Both houses passed the bill with veto-proof margins with significant Democratic support.
  • President Obama’s statement read “”Congress again failed to enact meaningful reforms to divest unneeded force structure, reduce wasteful overhead, and modernize military healthcare.”
  • The NDAA includes language prohibiting base closings.
  • Congress further added language restricting the closing of detention facilities at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
  • Language was added to fix the The National Guard bonus clawback.
  • Expanded telehealth access for active duty military personnel and veterans
  • Tricare will be restructured where new service members entering in 2018 and beyond will incur additional fees and costs.

Timeline

March, 2016– Congressional committees submitted “views and estimates” of spending and revenues.

April –  June, 2016 – House & Senate Armed Appropriations Committees worked on the FY2016 defense bill.

July – October, 2016 – House of Representatives and Senate passed their versions of the defense bill and negotiated differences.

September 30, 2016 – President Obama signed a continuing resolution (CR). The CR maintains department and agency funding as is through December 9, 2016, but it does not answer the question of what comes after that date. This is avoided a government shutdown.

November 14, 2016– Congress returned post elections. The lame duck period until the new Congress is sworn in on January 3, 2017.

December 2, 2016 – The House of Representatives passed their final version of the defense bill.

December 6, 2016 – The Senate passed their final version of the defense bill.

December 23, 2016 – President Obama signed the defense bill into law.

Compare to the 2016 Defense Budget that went into effect on January 1, 2016, or for more detailed information read about 2017 Military Pay, 2017 BAH, and 2017 BAS. For more detailed information on the 2017 Defense Budget proposal, visit the Defense Budget Overview document starting on page 57.

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