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Senate Approves $700B Defense Budget for Fiscal 2018

The Senate on Monday approved through an 89-8 vote a bill that would authorize $700 billion in defense spending for fiscal year 2018, Defense News reported Monday.

The FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act would allocate $640 billion for the Defense Department’s base budget and $60 billion in war funds.

The legislation exceeds the Trump administration’s $603 billion budget request for defense and reflects a $91 billion increase over the cap established by the Budget Control Act for base funds.

The bill’s approval in the upper chamber came two months after the House passed its $696.5 billion defense policy bill for fiscal 2018.

The Senate’s NDAA version would authorize the procurement of 10 more Boeing-built F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft, 24 additional Lockheed Martin-made F-35 fighter jets and five more ships for the U.S. Navy.

The measure would also create a new chief information warfare officer at DoD and oppose the creation of a new space-focused service branch proposed in the House bill.

The Washington Post also reported that the Senate bill would ban the use of software from Russian company Kaspersky Lab across federal agencies, military branches and government contractors.

Several proposed amendments to the defense policy bill failed to get votes on the Senate floor and these include proposals to increase sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile tests and the president’s proposed ban on transgender troops, the report added.

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