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U.S. Senate backs massive increase in military spending

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U.S. Senate backs massive increase in military spending

By Patricia Zengerle

 

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis leaves a news conference after a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal/File Phot

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate passed its version of a $700 billion defence policy bill on Monday, backing President Donald Trump's call for a bigger, stronger military but setting the stage for a battle over government spending levels later this year.

 

The Republican-controlled chamber voted 89-8 for the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, or NDAA, which authorizes the level of defence spending and sets policies controlling how the money is spent.

 

The Senate bill provides about $640 billion for the Pentagon's main operations, such as buying weapons and paying the troops, and some $60 billion to fund the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

 

The 1,215-page bill includes a wide range of provisions, such as a 2.1 percent military pay raise and $8.5 billion to strengthen missile defence, as North Korea conducts nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests. It also bans Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs products from federal government use.

 

The House of Representatives passed its version of the NDAA at a similar spending level in July.

 

The two versions must be reconciled before Congress can consider a final version. A fight over spending is expected because Senate Democrats have vowed to block big increases in funds for the military if spending caps on non-defence programs are not also eased.

 

The versions of the bill increase military spending well beyond last year's $619 billion, defying "sequestration" spending caps set in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

 

Trump wants to find more money for the Pentagon by slashing nondefence spending. His fellow Republicans control majorities in both the House and Senate, but they will need support from Senate Democrats to change the rules and allow a bigger Pentagon budget.

 

Senator John McCain, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been shepherding the legislation through Congress as he undergoes treatment for an aggressive type of brain cancer.

 

Arguing for increased spending, McCain said more men and women in uniform are dying in avoidable training accidents than in combat. "Where's the outrage? Where's our sense of urgency to deal with this problem?" he asked before the vote.

 

Both the Senate and House rejected Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' plan to close more bases starting in 2021.

 

Despite partisan divides that have kept Congress from passing much major legislation recently, the NDAA has been passed for 55 straight years.

 

Trump has criticized parts of the NDAA, but has not threatened a veto.

 

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-19

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2 minutes ago, ALLSEEINGEYE said:

The US already spends more on defense than the next 10 largest countries in the world. Last thing they need is to spend another trillion!!

 

All about the rich getting richer, corruption at its finest!! 

Name one nation where the rich don't want to get richer. LOL

 

The US spends a lot, but as a leader in global commerce, it's paid off quite nicely.

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2 hours ago, craigt3365 said:

Conflict is happening all over the world.  From Ukraine to North Korea to Syria.  Hardly a time to back down on military spending.  Can't blame the US for all these problems.  China, Russia and others are ramping up their expenditures also.  Perhaps time for a reset?

Because the US will be intervening more?

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1 hour ago, Machiavelli said:

700 billion and North Korea with a two dollar nuclear weapon is running circles around you. :cheesy::stoner:

You'll be the first one crying when NK pushes the button, and the world economy takes a dump.  :cheesy:

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14 minutes ago, Thaidream said:

The only crying that needs tobe done is that the Us Congress has passed a bill raising the Defense Budget to 700 Billion Dollars and at the same time not passing a universal healthcare bill; not passing Immigration reform; not raising taxes on the wealthy and generally not giving a damn about the average American who struggles.  you can also add Senior citizens who have seen little to nothing in a raise on their entitlement for the last few years.  There is absolutely no reason to raise defense spending to this level. It is already the highest in the World. Instead of waging war  how about a pullout of troop from the Middle East and Europe and let other countries pay for some of the defense.

Absolutely ridiculous to deprive Americans of  Healthcare while increasing defense to this level.

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

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And millions of people are without health insurance. Always plenty of money found for the military though.

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4 hours ago, craigt3365 said:

Hardly a two dollar nuclear weapon, but nice troll post.  Perhaps the reason for no action yet is to try and protect our allies.  A good thing to do, right?  Hopefully you agree with that. LOL

If you think 700 billion is for protecting so called allies rather than lining the pockets of the military industrial complex, you must be living in la la land.

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BANGKOK 19 October 2017 01:34
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