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House Approves 2016 Defense Spending Legislation, Senate Panel OKs Companion Bill

CapitolDomeThe House voted 278-149 Thursday to approve a $579 billion annual spending plan for the Defense Department, The Hill newspaper reported Thursday.

Cristina Marcos and Rebecca Shabad write House Republican members allocated an additional $38 billion to finance DoD’s overseas contingency operations over the next fiscal year but they retained a sequestration budget cap for non-defense programs.

The chamber’s 2016 DoD budget legislation offers a 2.3 percent wage hike for service members and provides funds for the U.S. military to procure F-35 fighters, Blackhawk helicopters, guided missile destroyers, tanker aircraft and combat ships.

Kristina Wong wrote in a separate report that the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday passed by a 27-3 vote a $575.9 billion companion bill to the House’s proposed defense budget.

The panel also backed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-N.H.) measure to lift spending limits and an amendment to prevent military commissary funding cuts, according to The Hill.

According to the newspaper, Senate Democrat members have threatened to block the passage of spending bills unless Republicans act to address sequestration.

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