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Obama Clears $619B Defense Spending Legislation for Fiscal 2017

President Barack Obama has signed the 2017 defense policy bill that authorizes $618.7 billion in funds and includes $67 billion for overseas contingency operations, The Hill reported Friday.

Rebecca Kheel writes the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act provides for $3.2 billion more OCO funds than Obama’s request that will cover a 2.1-percent military pay raise and additional personnel for the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Air Force.

The bill also includes provisions to turn the U.S. Cyber Command into a combatant command, address issues in the National Guard bonus and place restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees inshore, Kheel reported.

The report said Obama noted remaining concerns about dropped reform measures to address military force structure, overhead spending and military healthcare.

Dana Atkins, president and CEO of the Military Officers Association of America, said the 2017 NDAA reflects the areas of advocacy of the organization such as compensation and healthcare.

“Even in this tough fiscal environment, Congress found a way to treat military people fairly, resolving hundreds of differences between their respective versions of the bill, accommodating MOAA’s and The Military Coalition’s recommendations on most of them,” he said in a statement issued Friday.

MOAA said the bill protects service members and veterans from various Tricare fee increases and rejects a Senate proposal to reduce housing allowances by up to $30,000 a year for dual-military couples and service members who share housing.

The 2017 NDAA will also extend the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance at $310 per month through May 2018 and boost Survivor Benefit Plan annuities for beneficiaries of reservists who die during inactive-duty training.

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