Trump OKs $717B Defense Spending Bill for Fiscal 2019

blankPresident Donald Trump has signed into law a spending bill that allocates $616.9 billion for the Defense Department‘s base budget, $21.9 billion for Energy Department nuclear weapons initiatives and $69 billion for overseas contingency operations, CNBC reported Monday.

The fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act will fully fund the U.S. Air Force’s B-21 bomber project and allocate $7.6 billion in funds for the purchase of 77 Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jets and $85 million for Sikorsky-made UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.

The measure includes $284 million in funds to support the U.S. Army’s integration of its Patriot missile defense platform with the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system and the procurement of 13 new combat ships, including a $1.56 billion budget for three littoral combat ships.

Trump said in his speech Monday at Fort Drum in New York that the fiscal 2019 NDAA authorizes more than 3,000 joint light tactical vehicles, 60 Bradley combat vehicles and 135 M1 Abrams tanks for the Army.

He noted the measure, which was named for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), will earmark funds to modernize the country’s nuclear arsenal and missile defense systems.

The president also issued a statement on the legislation’s several provisions, including the formation within the executive branch of an advisory commission that would provide recommendations and reports on the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in national security.

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