The INSIDER daily digest -- May 20, 2019

By John Liang  
May 20, 2019 at 2:12 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has plenty of coverage from the House Appropriations Committee's proposed FY-20 defense spending bill.

Before we get to the defense spending bill, though, here's a look at the potential for the Senate to pass its version of the FY-20 defense authorization bill before the House does:

Senate faces pros and cons in crafting defense policy bill ahead of House

This week, for the first time in 10 years, the Senate Armed Services Committee will be marking up its version of the defense authorization bill ahead of its House counterpart, a timing shakeup that has distinct pros and cons for lawmakers, according to former congressional staffers.

Here's our coverage of the defense spending bill, beginning with funding for a couple of defense-wide programs:

House panel proposes $85M to improve hypersonics research, new university consortium

House lawmakers are proposing legislation that would elevate the role of academic research in tackling hypersonic weapons by establishing a university consortium to support U.S. military efforts to expedite testing, evaluation and acquisition.

House legislation would fence funding for Pentagon's JEDI cloud program

House appropriators are seeking to block the Defense Department from migrating any data and applications to the commercial cloud provider who wins the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract until DOD provides more information on how it will transition to a multi cloud environment.

Navy funding:

House appropriators recommend $541M for P-8A squadron recapitalization

House defense appropriators are recommending an additional $541 million to the Navy's aircraft procurement budget for three P-8A Poseidons, citing concerns that two Navy Reserve squadrons would otherwise be decommissioned in fiscal year 2023, according to a draft of the FY-20 defense spending bill released by the committee today.

House appropriators direct Navy to shift $653M from Virginia program to sub maintenance

House appropriators are seeking to move $653 million from the Navy's Virginia-class submarine program to its operations and maintenance account to force the service to address its submarine backlog at several shipyards.

House defense appropriators would fund Navy nuclear cruise missile AOA, but direct SECNAV report

House appropriators are recommending full funding in the fiscal year 2020 defense spending bill for the Navy's upcoming sea-launched cruise missile analysis of alternatives but are concerned about the costs and operational impacts of the program, according to the defense subcommittee's mark.

Army funding:

House appropriators restore funding for Chinook Block II

House appropriators in a show of support for the Boeing-made Chinook helicopter are directing the Army to follow through on its original plan to upgrade the CH-47, which service leaders had proposed cancelling.

Air Force funding:

Lawmakers question F-35 buy plan, call for balanced investment in new capability, capacity

House appropriators are concerned the Air Force's fiscal year 2020 budget request doesn't include the resources to adequately grow its fighter fleet, saying in a report accompanying a draft mark of the funding bill the service needs to boost F-35 procurement even as it recapitalizes its fourth-generation fleet.

House appropriators would cut $108M from GBSD

House appropriators are recommending cutting more than $100 million the Air Force requested in fiscal year 2020 to begin a major development phase of its intercontinental ballistic missile replacement program.

In other Air Force news, the service's Combat Rescue Helicopter flew for the first time this month:

Sikorsky combat rescue helicopter achieves first flight

Sikorsky's Combat Rescue Helicopter -- the Air Force's replacement to its legacy Pave Hawk fleet -- achieved its first flight last week at a company facility in West Palm Beach, FL.

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