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US House passes $695.9 billion national defense bill

15 July 2017

An amendment, introduced by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), would have removed the language in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act saying that "climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States and is impacting stability in areas of the world both where the United States Armed Forces are operating today, and where strategic implications for future conflict exist".

Turner also gathered the support of the heads of the House intelligence and House appropriations committees.

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The policy bill would authorize $696 billion for managing the nation's vast military enterprise in 2018, almost $30 billion more for core Pentagon operations than President Donald Trump requested.

The bill passed as 117 Democrats and all but eight Republicans voted for approval of the measure, which includes $621.5 billion toward the Department of Defense base budget and the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons programs.

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.

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"This bill takes the necessary steps to begin to rebuild and reform our military, including billions in additional funds to begin to close the risky readiness gaps our troops are facing", he said in a statement.

The House of Representatives has approved a large boost in military spending in its National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Friday. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the Armed Services Committee last month that closing excess installations would save $10 billion over a five-year period.

The policy bill plan provides a 2.4 percent pay raise for US service members, which is slightly higher than the wage hike the Pentagon had proposed.

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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. The 2018 NDAA represents a almost $50 billion increase over the former President's budget proposal.

US House passes $695.9 billion national defense bill