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Senate Committee OKs $574B Defense Budget for Fiscal 2017

senateThe Senate Appropriations Committee has passed a bill that would authorize $515.9 billion for the Defense Department‘s base expenditures and another $58.6 billion wartime overseas contingency programs in fiscal 2017, Defense News reported Thursday.

Joe Gould writes defense authorization bill, which the committee unanimously approved Thursday, will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

“The bill sustains a strong US force structure, and it makes significant investments in readiness, shipbuilding programs, aircraft procurement and missile defense,” Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), was quoted as saying.

The report said the panel’s proposed DoD budget for the next fiscal year is $1.7 billion less than President Barack Obama’s request.

Senate appropriators rejected the House’s proposal to move a portion of war funds to the base defense budget and added 8 amendments to the funding bill.

Gould noted one amendment calls for the department to expedited efforts to replace its fleet of UH-1N military helicopters and another amendment seeks to elevate the status of the U.S. Cyber Command to a combatant command.

The spending bill would allow DoD to reallocate about $15.1 billion in department funds to procure items on the “unfunded priorities” list of the four service branches, according to the report.

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