Friday, March 10, 2017

U.S. House approves US$578 billion to keep armed forces operating

The House voted decisively to approve a US$578 billion spending bill that keeps the U.S. armed forces operating through September. It sets the stage for substantial increases to the Pentagon's budget advocated by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The fiscal year 2017 defence legislation passed the GOP-led chamber by a 371-48 margin. The Trump administration is preparing a $30 billion supplement to the bill.

The United States spends more on defence than the next seven nations combined. Yet defence hawks are pressing Trump to spend tens of billions more.
The spending bill has $516 billion for basic military requirements, which covers everything from the purchase of bombs and bullets to troop training. Nearly $62 billion is included in the bill to pay for ongoing military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

33 Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee want Trump to add at least another $37 billion, for a total increase next year of $91 billion beyond the caps.