WASHINGTON – The GOP-led House on Friday overwhelmingly approved a defense policy bill for the 2018 fiscal year that would provide $696 billion in defense spending for the 2018 fiscal year.
Below are key provisions in the defense bill:
PAY RAISE FOR TROOPS
The policy bill plan provides a 2.4 percent pay raise for U.S. service members, which is slightly higher than the wage hike the Pentagon had proposed.
The bill gives the Army money to add 17,000 new soldiers, including 10,000 for the active-duty ranks and 7,000 more for the National Guard and Reserve.
MISSILE DEFENSE MONEY ADDED
The House bill orders roughly $12.5 billion for missile defense programs intended to deter a potential strike by North Korea, Iran or other countries. That's nearly $2.5 billion more than President Donald Trump sought.
COMBAT READINESS 'RECOVERY'
A nearly $30 billion increase is targeted at improving the military's readiness for combat in key areas that lawmakers say Trump neglected. The money would pay for more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, V-22 tiltrotor aircraft and F/A-18 jet fighters. The Navy would get additional ships and the Army is in line for upgraded Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
The bill adopted an amendment by Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., that is aimed at prodding Congress to adopt a new authorization for the use of military force against Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq. The Pentagon is still relying on war powers passed shortly after the Sept. 11. 2001 terror attacks.