House Speaker John Boehner slammed Democrats on Thursday for not supporting a $579 billion Department of Defense budget that includes a 2.3 percent military pay raise.
"This is a strong defense bill that provides our troops with the resources they need and the raise they have earned," the Ohio Republican said. "It reflects the reality of a dangerous world, including resources to combat cyberattacks.
"And if the president decides to put forward an overarching strategy to defeat ISIL, this bill makes sure the resources are there to carry it out," Boehner added, referring to Islamic State terrorists.
The defense bill passed on a 278-149 vote, with only 43 Democrats supporting it. They had strongly attacked it because the legislation used a war-fighting account to raise defense spending next year.
The measure gives President Barack Obama all the money he requested for defense, but did so by hiking the war-fighting account that is not subject to sequestration by nearly $40 billion.
Obama has said he would veto spending bills that do not address the spending limits and treat defense and non-defense expenditures equally.
The companion Senate version of the bill easily advanced through the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, but it faces a filibuster next week as Democrats seek to force Republicans to negotiate increasing domestic spending.
Boehner noted after the vote that 120 Democrats backed a $4 billion House bill that would fund congressional offices for the next fiscal year. The debate had included some Democrats calling for a pay raise for legislators.
"I'm pleased that a bipartisan majority of the House agrees with our plan to fund national defense," the speaker said. "That said, the American people should know that far more Democrats voted to fund Congress than our troops."
"This is part of Democrats’ scheme to oppose anything and everything — even a pay raise for our troops — in order to extract more money for the IRS and the EPA," Boehner added. "And if Democrats don’t get more money from taxpayers, they are planning to shut down the federal government.
"Democrats are playing a dangerous and selfish game with our national security."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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