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Congress' Military Budget Is Even Bigger Than Trump Asked For

The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act passed with strong bipartisan support. The Senate has yet to vote on the bill.
Posted at 12:47 PM, Oct 16, 2017

In his budget proposal, President Trump asked for just over $600 billion for defense spending. The House just passed a bill that would give him over $90 billion more than that.

The annual National Defense Authorization Act passed the House with bipartisan support, 344-81. It would give the Pentagon $696 billion, up from last year's appropriation of $619 billion.

That's around $70 billion over the limit Congress is technically allowed to give to the military. Lawmakers will need to override those budget caps if they want to pass this bill into law.

The bill would add about 17,000 more troops to the U.S. Army and give soldiers a 2.4 percent pay raise. It would also add five new ships to the U.S. Navy, dozens of new planes to the U.S. Air Force and provide 25 percent more funding for missile defense programs.

The proposal would also fund a new branch of the military focused on outer space, despite reservations from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The Senate still has to vote on its version of the funding bill, which will have to be reconciled with the House bill before it heads to the president's desk.