Tags: Barack Obama | Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | defense | funding | bill | house

$585 Billion Defense Spending Bill Passes the House

By    |   Thursday, 04 Dec 2014 05:56 PM

A $585 billion defense authorization bill was passed in the House Thursday by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, which will fund the Pentagon through fiscal year 2015.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed in the House 300-119, will now go to the Senate where it is likely to pass next week, The Hill is reporting.

The House and Senate Armed Services committees negotiated the defense spending bill for weeks before an agreement was reached. Although it wasn't the first one passed in the House this year, the Senate had yet to vote on its own version.

The measure gives the Pentagon $521 billion in base discretionary spending and $64 billion to fund overseas contingency operations.

However, the spending bill is not without its share of controversy.

The public land and energy provisions establishes more national parks and wilderness areas as well as expedites the oil and gas drilling permit process.

"The decision to attach an extreme land grab to the NDAA is a disservice to members of the Armed Forces," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said in a statement released Wednesday.

"With the military's shrinking budget, it is offensive that this bill would be used to fund congressional pork," Cruz added, saying that it isn't the time for the federal government to remove "billions of acres of land from productive use."

The NDAA passed in fiscal year 2014 gave the Defense Department $625.1 billion. The drop in spending is due to reductions in the spending for operations in Afghanistan.

In addition, the measure also includes reductions in health insurance benefits for military members, a 1 percent cut in housing subsidies, and a $100 million cut in the subsidies for military commissaries, which is where troops and their families go for their groceries.

Military advocates had asked that no cuts be made to military benefits, although the cuts didn't go as far as the Defense Department and the Senate Armed Services asked.

The defense spending bill provides $6.6 billion to help fund the effort against the Islamic State (ISIS), which includes 1,500 troops who will be sent to Iraq for the purpose of training and equipping security forces.

The House also extended the authority granted to President Barack Obama in September to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels.

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A $585 billion defense authorization bill was passed in the House Thursday by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, which will fund the Pentagon through fiscal year 2015.
defense, funding, bill, house
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2014-56-04
Thursday, 04 Dec 2014 05:56 PM
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