The House of Representatives recently voted for a $649 billion defense spending bill that increases the Defense Department’s budget by $17 billion. Even amid the sluggish economy and cuts being made to various government agencies, the House made it clear where its priorities lie, one GOP representative said.
“House Republicans demonstrated responsible leadership that sets priorities and does not jeopardize our national security interests and our nation’s ongoing military efforts,” Rep. Tom Price, (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, said in a statement.
The bill would cover $119 billion in costs to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and give $530 billion to the Pentagon. The bill was voted for and debated on in a bipartisan manner. Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank and Tea Party freshman Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) took issue with the bill.
“The military budget is not on the table,” Frank told MSNBC.com. “The military is at the table, and it is eating everybody else’s lunch.” Mulvaney also said constituents expect more fiscal responsibility from their representatives. “How can we look them in the eye and tell them that we are serious about cutting spending and then come in and plus up the base defense budget?” he asked.
Some GOP members in the House thought the proposed spending bill wasn’t high enough. But the White House has threatened to veto the bill, saying it contains limits to legislation includes money for defense programs the administration didn’t request.