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House committee votes to increase military budget by $25 billion

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FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2021, file photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, soldiers, assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, prepare to board a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Senior Airman Taylor Crul/U.S. Air Force via AP, File)

The House Armed Services Committee, last week, voted to add $24.9 billion to the Department of Defense budget.

That’s $37 billion more than approved for this year. President Joe Biden’s defense budget was $753 billion — up from the Trump administration’s last defense budget of $740 billion.

The committee, split between 31 Democrats and 28 Republicans, passed the increase by a 42-17 margin with 14 Democrats signing the measure. Only two Democrats needed to sign the Republican-sponsored amendment.

Of that $24.9 billion, $9.8 billion would go toward procurement, $4.7 billion toward shipbuilding, $1.7 billion for aircraft and $878 million for combat vehicles.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) opposed the amendment, saying the “single most important thing that the Defense Department needs to do right now is spend its money wisely.”

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment from Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) said the amount is essentially a 3% increase and would keep growth in line with inflation.

The Senate Armed Services Committee passed its own $25 billion increase to the Pentagon budget back in July.

The NDAA is a policy bill, not a spending bill, meaning even if the final product has a top line of $778 billion, a separate appropriations bill with a matching dollar figure would also have to pass for the increase to become a reality, The Hill reported.

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