Thursday, April 28, 2016

House panel advances $610 billion spending plan with bigger pay raise, more end strength

House Armed Services Committee members advanced a $610 billion defense policy bill early Thursday that supporters say will fully fund the military’s needs and critics blasted as another budgeting gimmick that creates more problems than it solves.
The annual defense authorization bill draft passed the panel by a 60-2 vote after a 16-plus-hour marathon markup session involving dozens of defense priority and regulation amendments. It includes a 2.1 percent pay raise for troops next year, 27,000 more troops than the White House requested and a massive overhaul of the defense medical care system.
It also includes $18 billion more in funding for things like additional F-18s, F-35s, littoral combat ships and Army Tactical Missile Systems. It dramatically boosts ship and aircraft depot maintenance and adds 900 Javelin missiles to the Pentagon's formal request.  more