The House Appropriations Committee released a draft of the defense funding bill for Fiscal Year 2021, which includes $694.6 billion in new discretionary spending authority for the Department of Defense, and a slight decrease in funding for the research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) of new technologies.

The Defense Subcommittee approved the bill by voice vote on July 8 in a closed session. The bill now heads to the full Committee for markup.

The topline $694.6 billion figure represents a $1.3 billion increase from the level enacted last fiscal year. That figure is $3.7 billion below the president’s budget request.

“This bill provides the Defense Department with appropriate resources to address an evolving threat landscape and ensure the security of our nation and our allies,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., in a press release.

The draft funds the procurement of 91 F-35 aircrafts, a dozen more than the president’s request, at a total cost of $9.3 billion.

The RDT&E recommendation is $1.9 billion below the president’s budget request. The total RDT&E funding of $104.3 billion in base funding is a decrease of $0.1 billion below the level enacted last fiscal year.

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Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.