The U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act Friday, setting a record of US$696 billion in military spending, more than President Donald Trump asked for.
The bill passed with a resounding vote from the house with 344 in support and 81 against from 117 Democrats and all but 8 Republicans. The bill allows for a bulk up of the military with more ships, aircraft, and troops.
Trump’s initial budget requested US$603 billion. However, house members generously gave an extra almost US$100 billion as a first step towards the military’s revamping.
The increased budget spending breaks the boundaries instated by the 2011 Budget Control Act by around US$72 billion, allotting US$65 billion to overseas war spending and US$631.6 billion in defense spending.
The president's FY 2018 Budget report showed funding for the bill will be taken in part from the Overseas Contingency Operations to cover base budget items. Other programs will see cuts across in order to fund the military expansion.
Some of these include replacements and reforms of federal student loans, the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Chip, federal student loans, the welfare system, disability programs, retirement benefits for federal employees among others.
Proposed in May by the Trump Administration, the legal venture pushes for an increase in the military by 2019.
"The defense authorization bill is only one step in the process," Mac Thornberry, R-TX said. "There are many more steps to come."
The bill will now move on to be considered by the senate, if approved, US$700 billion dollars will be dished out to the military initiative. It’s expected that the senators will meet before the end of the month when they leave on summer recess.
Last week saw a number of initiatives discussed including a proposed ban on transgender medical care, the closure of excess military facilities, the assessment of violent Islamic religious doctrine to support terrorism all of which were vetoed.