The Congressional Budget Office has completed an estimate of the budgetary effects of S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, as reported by the Senate Committee on Armed Services on May 18, 2016. Tables summarizing those effects are enclosed. A more detailed cost estimate (including mandate statements) for S. 2943 will be provided shortly.
For 2017, the bill would authorize an estimated $603.2 billion, nearly all of which ($602.6 billion) would be specifically authorized by the bill. The remaining $0.6 billion largely reflects CBO’s estimate of the amount not specifically authorized by the bill that would be necessary to fund certain accrual payments required under current law.
Under S. 2943, specified authorizations for defense programs would total $602.4 billion, an increase of $3.3 billion (1 percent) compared to amounts appropriated for 2016. Operation and maintenance would receive the largest increase ($7.4 billion, or 3 percent), followed by research and development ($2.6 billion, or 4 percent). Procurement would decline by $6.4 billion (5 percent), while authorized funding for all other categories combined would decrease by $0.3 billion (less than 1 percent).
Of the amount specifically authorized, $543.5 billion—plus the estimated $0.6 billion mentioned above—would cover “base” budget costs that, if appropriated, would count against the 2017 cap on defense appropriations. Another $58.9 billion would be for overseas contingency operations and if appropriated, would not be subject to that cap. The remaining $0.2 billion specified for nondefense appropriations would count against the nondefense cap.
S. 2943 would reauthorize the use of share-in-savings contracts by certain agencies. It also would make several changes to military retirement and health care benefits and to the national defense stockpile, would extend the availability of unobligated balances in several accounts, would require women to register with the Selective Service, and would make other changes that would affect direct spending. CBO estimates that in total enacting those provisions would increase net direct spending by $10.9 billion over the 2017-2026 period. In addition, a number of provisions would change direct spending by insignificant amounts over the 2017-2026 period.
The bill also would make numerous changes to the military justice system that CBO expects would increase the amount of fines and forfeitures of pay that are imposed at military courts-martial by less than $500,000 over the next 10 years. Those fines are classified as revenues. Because enacting the bill would affect direct spending and revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.
CBO estimates that enacting S. 2943 would increase net direct spending and on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion in each of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.