Next week House lawmakers will once again vote on the new bill meant to fund the Pentagon for 2018. House Appropriations Committee reintroduced an FY-18 defense appropriations bill on Thursday, and it is expected to come to the floor Tuesday.
According to The Hill, House leadership earlier this month promised defense hawks and conservatives another vote on the bill in exchange for their votes on a stopgap spending measure needed to avert a government shutdown.
“It is past time that this essential, must-pass Department of Defense funding bill is enacted into law,” Rodney Frelinghuysen the Appropriations Committee Chairman stated last week.
“Congress must act responsibly and quickly to get these dollars out the door and where they are needed as soon as possible.”
The bill is “virtually the same” as the previous fiscal 2018 defense bills, according to a committee release.
The new legislation allocates $659.2 billion to the Pentagon out of which $584 billion is for the base budget and $75.1 billion for a war fund known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account. The biggest difference that raises questions is a $1.2 billion increase in OCO for Afghanistan operations.
The House plans to have the voting done before the momentary resolution expires on February 8. As result of that, the House has sped up its process by reviewing the proposed expenditures.
Several hearings will be held regarding the new budget, the ones that stand out is that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the economic relationship between the United States, Canada and Mexico with testimonies from former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and former U.S. ambassador to Mexico Tony Wayne at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Also at 1 p.m., Wednesday, former Marine commandant, retired General James Conway and the former Turkish armed forces attaché, retired Major General Ahmet Bertan Nagaylaroglu, will be having a meeting about the U.S. Turkish alliance at the National Press Club.