Key provisions in House-passed defense policy bill

46 Republicans Join Dems in Backing Military Study on Climate Change Threat                 



46 Republicans Join Dems in Backing Military Study on Climate Change Threat NASA

The bill includes $28 billion more in defense spending than the Trump administration requested, which GOP defense hawks said was insufficient.

The bill's $696 billion price tag exceeds current spending caps, enacted in 2011, that limit military spending for the 2018 fiscal year to $549 billion.

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry acknowledged the opposition in the Pentagon, but argued major reforms in the past often meet resistance from military leaders.

"The defense authorization bill is only one step in the process".

"If you look back at history, it is incumbent upon Congress to make changes in the Pentagon that they can not make for themselves", Thornberry said, pointing to the creation of the Air Force itself.

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.

Before voting on final passage, 27 Republicans joined Democrats to turn aside a contentious amendment crafted by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., that would have required the Pentagon to identify "Islamic religious doctrines, concepts, or schools of thought" used by the Islamic State and other terrorist groups for recruitment, financing or propaganda purposes. Ellison is the first Muslim elected to Congress.

It also defeated a proposed Republican amendment that would have prevented the Pentagon from implementing climate-change and green energy policies. "It beefs up missile defense at a time when the threats continue to increase". Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the Armed Services Committee last month that closing excess installations would save $10 billion over a five-year period.

That wasn't addressed in Friday's bill.

The bill would add about 17,000 more troops to the U.S. Army and give soldiers a 2.4 percent pay raise.

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