Congressional Appropriators Reach $1.7T Omnibus Deal; Defense Bill Funds 11 Battle Force Ships

December 20, 2022 11:38 AM
Moon over U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13, 2016. NASA Photo

Congressional appropriators early Tuesday announced a deal for a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package for Fiscal Year 2023 that allots funding for the Navy to buy 11 battle force ships.
The omnibus package allots $858 billion for national defense, matching the FY 2023 authorization bill. It’s a $45 billion increase from the $813 billion the Biden administration sought for national defense in its FY 2023 budget mission.

The defense spending bill appropriates $797.7 billion in funding, which, when including the $19 billion military construction spending bill, adds up to the $816 billion that Congressional authorizers approved for the Pentagon’s base budget in the National Defense Authorization Act that lawmakers passed earlier this month.

The spending legislation appropriates $31.9 billion for the Navy’s shipbuilding account – an increase from the $27.9 billion the Navy asked for in its FY 2023 budget submission – so the service can buy two Virginia-class submarines, three Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, one Constellation-class frigate, one San Antonio-class transport dock, two Expeditionary Fast Transport ships, one T-ATS 6 Navajo-class towing, salvage and rescue ship and one T-AO-205 John Lewis-class fleet oiler, according to a House Appropriations Committee summary of the bill.

The funding bill matches the 11 battle force ships Congressional authorizers approved in the National Defense Authorization Act, which is awaiting a signature from President Joe Biden.

Congressional appropriators included funding for the Navy to ink another multi-year deal for the Arleigh Burke-class Flight III destroyers, paving the way for the service to buy as many as 15 ships. The move follows a similar on by authorizers, who included language in the policy bill that would allow the Navy to sign another deal.

The defense appropriations legislation also allots funding for eight F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, despite the Navy’s desire to end the production line so it can invest in new technologies and modernize. Authorizers also approved funds for the Navy to buy eight Super Hornets.

The bill appropriates money for the 4.6% pay raise that the FY 2023 budget proposal sought for service members and civilians.

“This legislation will keep America safe by giving our troops a well-earned pay raise, ensuring our servicemen and women are well-trained and well-equipped with the most up to-date technology, and shifting resources toward cutting-edge programs that’ll maintain our fighting edge over adversaries like China and Russia,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a statement. “Passing a budget is one of our best tools to fight inflation, so it’s critical that Congress gets this done quickly and avoids any more stop-gap measures, which only undermine our military and national security at a time of increasing threats around the globe.”

Once the omnibus spending package passes the House and the Senate, it will go to Biden for his signature.

The government is currently operating under a continuing resolution that keeps it funded through Dec. 23. It’s the second CR for FY 2023. The first CR funded the government through Dec. 16, but lawmakers last week passed another stopgap bill so they could finish work on the omnibus deal.

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne is a reporter for USNI News. She previously covered the Navy for Inside Defense and reported on politics for The Hill.
Follow @MalShelbourne

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