Reports: House Committee Drafts $658B Fiscal 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill

The House Appropriations Committee has unveiled a $658.1 billion draft spending bill that would allocate $584.2 billion in discretionary funds to the Defense Department for the government’s 2018 fiscal year and another $73.9 billion in war funds, The Hill reported Sunday.

The panel’s proposed defense budget is $18.4 billion more than the amount stated in President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget blueprint, according to the newspaper.

“This legislation is a step forward in rebuilding our military and ensuring our nation is ready to meet any new or existing threat,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-New Jersey).

Defense News reported the bill includes $149 billion for the procurement of military weapons and equipment and $21.5 billion for the construction of 11 new U.S. Navy ships.

The legislation would also help DoD buy additional aircraft such as 84 F-35 jets from Lockheed Martin; 56 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from Lockheed’s Sikorsky subsidiary; 12 MQ-1 Gray Eagle drones from General Atomics; and 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, seven P-8A Poseidons and 15 KC-46 Pegasus tankers from Boeing.

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