March 20, 2018

House approves $696B budget for Pentagon

15 July 2017, 04:45 | Taylor George

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House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. joined by House Majority Leader Kevin Mc Carthy of Calif. meets with reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday

The Trump administration proposed a defense budget of $603 billion, but the House passed spending of $65 billion in overseas combat funding and $631.6 billion in base defense spending.

Over White House objections, the bill added a bipartisan measure crafted by Smith and Thornberry, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, requiring the Defense Department to inform Congress within 48 hours of "any sensitive military cyber operation". But in the end, it was all for naught - the House rules committee tossed his amendment out and blocked it from coming to the floor for a vote.

The bill also mandates that the department tell Congress, also within two days, about the results of any legal review by one of the military services of a cyber capability that is meant to be used as a weapon.

While the House bill kept the Space Corps, the proposal would have been in a stronger position heading into the House-Senate negotiations had the amendment vote occurred to create the new military branch.

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The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (H.R. 2810) passed 344-81 to order US$696 billion for defense in the fiscal year 2018, including some $12.5 billion for missile defense programs. "If we in America do not also address this on a strategic level, this underlying ideology that catalyzes the evil of jihadist terrorism across the world, then its list of victims will only grow longer".

In response to Democrats' demands that Congress increase domestic spending by an amount equal to new defense spending, Rep. DesJarlais argued the nation must not take public resources or national security for granted.

"Simply put, we would have lost the war and our freedom". Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the Armed Services Committee last month that closing excess installations would save $10 billion over a five-year period.

Part of the bill includes a 2.4 percent pay increase for troops. The 2018 NDAA represents a almost $50 billion increase over the former President's budget proposal.

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