FY2021 Defense Appropriations Act: Context and Selected Issues

The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2021, provided funding for an end-strength of 2.15 million military personnel in the active and reserve components—10,300 more personnel than the FY2020 enacted amount—and for a 3% military pay raise. The legislation provided funding in new appropriation accounts for the Space Force (e.g., Procurement, Space Force and Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation, Space Force) as part of DOD’s ongoing efforts to establish the Space Force within the Department of the Air Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. The legislation also provided funding for a new budget activity (e.g., Budget Activity 6.8) for software and digital technology pilot programs.

This report provides details of the major spending categories and programs in the current defense budget. It describes the back and forth process within Congress and between Congress and the Trump White House. It also compares funding levels for certain defense accounts and programs in the enacted FY2020 appropriations, the Trump Administration’s FY2021 request, and FY2021 legislation.   Purchase on Amazon