House OKs defense spending measure
WASHINGTON — House Republicans and Democrats joined forces to approve an annual defense policy bill that authorizes $700 billion for the Pentagon and orders a more rapid buildup of the nation’s missile defenses.
On Tuesday, lawmakers voted 356-70 to pass the legislation, with 127 Democrats backing the measure. Once the defense bill clears the Senate, which is expected later this week, the bill will be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.
The defense bill allots just over $634 billion for core Pentagon operations and nearly $66 billion for wartime missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. The funding boost pays for more troops and weapons the bill’s backers say are needed to halt an erosion of the military’s combat readiness.
The legislation includes $12.3 billion for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency to counter the advancing nuclear threat from North Korea.
Trump’s 2018 request sought $603 billion for basic functions and $65 billion for overseas missions. But securing the higher amounts remains contingent upon Congress reaching an agreement to roll back a 2011 law that set strict limits on most federal spending.