House Armed Offerings Chairman Macintosh Thornberry (R-Texas) called the expenses a deposit on a yearslong army buildup. | Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo House passes $700B compromise security bill
The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a $700 billion compromise security policy bill that could authorize a army buildup beyond that proposed by President Donald Trump, but vastly exceed the cap on security spending to fund it.
The vote was 356-70.
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The Senate will debate the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act after Thanksgiving and is expected to handily approve it and send it to the president for his signature.
With fewer contentious issues than in prior years, the annual legislation was hammered out by House and Senate Armed Services leaders in only a few weeks.
In every, the measure would authorize almost $700 billion in countrywide defense spending. Within that, the bill endorses $626.4 billion in base spending, incorporating $20.6 billion for nuclear national security courses under the Energy Section. And it would authorize $65.7 billion for a separate Pentagon war account.
The legislation, which tallies billions of dollars more than Trump’s $603 billion budget request, would authorize more spending for missile defense technology to counter North Korea, more ships and fighters, and would continue steadily to rebuild the Army.
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On to the floor Tuesday, House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) known as the bill a deposit on a yearslong army buildup.
“We will not rebuild and fix our problems in a single year or one expenses … but we can head in the right direction,” Thornberry explained. “That’s what this conference statement does.”
But the final NDAA can be tens of billions of dollars above the $549 billion cap on national defense spending arranged by the Budget Control Act for the existing 2018 fiscal year.
House and Senate leaders has to strike a budget offer that escalates the caps in order to boost security spending as recommended by the expenses, approved on Tuesday by the House.
“It runs $80 billion, roughly, more than the spending budget caps, and the expenses can’t do that alone,” said House Armed Offerings position Democrat Adam Smith of Washington status.
“Unless the spending budget caps are lifted and the appropriators pass the appropriations bill, that doesn’t happen,” Smith explained. “And we haven’t produced a lot of improvement on that.”
The final measure includes a 2.4 percent troop pay raise, higher than the two 2.1 percent sought by the Pentagon.
It would authorize 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, 20 more than the Pentagon requested, and 24 Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets, 10 more than requested. And it would enhance Navy shipbuilding by authorizing 13 new ships, five more than requested, incorporating an extra Littoral Fight Ship, destroyer and amphibious ship.
The bill would also authorize more personnel in the active-duty armed service services and Reserves.
Notably, the Army would grow by 7,500 active-duty soldiers and the active-duty Marine Corps would rise simply by 1,000. The Air flow Force would grow by 4,100 active-duty personnel. And the Navy would increase by 4,000 active-duty personnel.
The legislation also continues efforts, spearheaded by Senate Armed Offerings Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), to shake up the Pentagon’s senior leadership ranks.
It would establish the Pentagon’s recently created chief supervision officer as the 3rd most senior content and give it more information technology capabilities performed by the chief information officer.
The ultimate NDAA compromise would also eradicate one assistant secretary of Defense and limit the full total number of deputy assistant secretaries to 48.
Additionally, the bill includes a series of provisions aimed at streamlining the Pentagon’s acquisition process, including a proposal pushed by Thornberry to set up an online marketplace for purchasing commercial products.
Lawmakers, however, dropped a House-backed proposal to make a new Space Corps under the Air Force.
Instead, the final bill would require an independent plan to set up a separate service in charge of space in addition to a slew of improvements to streamline national reliability space acquisitions and functions.