As we have reported before, the legislative provisions that are slipped into spending legislation each year must be done every year. Year after year. Ad infinitum. Why? Because, for the most part, appropriations bills only govern a single fiscal year. Once the fiscal year ends, the legislative provisions expire.
This is why every year the Department of Defense appropriations bill includes a list of highly specific things the Pentagon isn’t allowed to do.
So for those of you who, like us, keep track of these things, here is the usual list of suspects:
Section 8019: No more than $500,000 may be used to relocate any “organization, unit, activity or function…into or within the National Capital Region.” So, don’t try to take any military activity at all from somewhere else in the country and bring it to the D.C. region. Or move from MD to VA or vice-versa. Not allowed. Uh-uh.
Section 8079: Don’t go trying to reduce or disestablish the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron of the Air Force Reserve. In case you were wondering, this particular “Hurricane Hunter” squadron is at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. And the retiring chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee (as well as the Defense Subcommittee) is Senator Cochran of, you guessed it, Mississippi. Oh, and the actual weather-related federal agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has their own “Hurricane Hunters” – but they’re in Florida.
Section 8085: And don’t try to “eliminate, restructure, or realign Army Contracting Command – New Jersey”. The New Jersey sub-command headquarters is at Picatinny Arsenal. And the retiring chairman of the House Appropriations Committee is Rep. Frelinghuysen who happens to represent the Congressional District that includes Picatinny. Seeing a pattern here?
Now, for the mother of all “don’ts”:
Section 8120: None of the funds made available by the Act may be used to propose, plan for, or execute a new or additional Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.
So don’t even think about it!