By Eugene Volokh and Henry C. Jackson Jr.
The House on Thursday passed a bill authorizing $770 billion in military spending in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The budget, which had passed the Senate last month, would provide a 7 percent increase in the Pentagon’s budget and meets President Trump’s request of $603 billion, including military and international affairs.
The House bill, which passed overwhelmingly, provides for a 1.4 percent pay raise for the military, and it allows for the deployment of American troops and equipment in response to any escalation of hostilities by North Korea, the Taliban or other actors in the Middle East or Central Asia. The legislation also boosts spending for the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Reconnaissance Office, a U.S. spy agency.
The spending plan for next year’s military spending is far above that from an annual conference report the House agreed to in mid-December, but the bill is well short of Trump’s proposed level. Though Trump met with congressional leaders at the White House on Wednesday to discuss funding matters, it remains unclear whether Congress can avoid a government shutdown fight this fall. The Associated Press