The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee on Tuesday approved a bill through legislative markup to authorize $694.9B in defense spending for fiscal year 2020, The Hill reported. The defense policy bill includes a base budget of $622.5B, $70.7B in overseas contingency operations funds and $1.7B in emergency funds.
Programs to be funded in the proposed measure include the procurement of 95 F-35 fighter aircraft and 14 battleships, a 3.1 percent increase in military pay and an active-duty end strength of 1.3M service personnel. The Senate subpanel marked up the bill despite concerns that the measure does not restrict the current administration’s ability to tap the Department of Defense’s funds to support its border wall project.
DoD identified 127 domestic and overseas military construction projects that could be deferred to free up $3.6B in funds to support barrier projects in response to a national emergency declared at the southern U.S. border.