H.R. 4310, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Cost Estimate
May 15, 2012

As reported by the House Committee on Armed Services on May 11, 2012

H.R. 4310 would authorize appropriations totaling $637 billion for fiscal year 2013 for the military functions of the Department of Defense (DoD), for certain activities of the Department of Energy (DOE), and for other purposes. That total includes an estimated $89 billion for the cost of overseas contingency operations, primarily in Afghanistan. In addition, H.R. 4310 would prescribe personnel strengths for each active-duty and selected-reserve component of the U.S. armed forces. CBO estimates that appropriation of the authorized amounts would result in outlays of $626 billion over the 2013-2017 period.

The bill also contains provisions that would increase or decrease costs of discretionary defense programs in 2014 and future years. Those implicit authorizations would affect force structure, DoD compensation and benefits, DoD’s use of multiyear procurement authority, and other programs and activities. CBO has analyzed the costs of a select number of those authorizations and estimates they would raise net costs by about $57 billion over the 2014-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts for those years. Those amounts are not included in the totals in the previous paragraph because funding for those activities would be covered by specific authorizations in future years.

H.R. 4310 contains provisions that would increase or decrease components of direct spending. CBO estimates that, on net, those changes would decrease direct spending by $554 million over the 2013-2017 period and by $44 million over the 2013-2022 period. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues. Because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.

The bill would impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) on mortgage lending institutions and would preempt state laws governing child custody in some cases. CBO estimates that the costs to public entities of complying with the mandates would be small and well below the annual threshold established in UMRA for intergovernmental mandates ($73 million in 2012, adjusted annually for inflation). CBO estimates that the costs to private entities of complying with the mandate would probably fall below the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($146 million in 2012, adjusted annually for inflation).