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article imageSenate to vote on bill that gives Pentagon $738 billion in 2020

By Ken Hanly     Jul 31, 2019 in Politics
Washington - US defense officials are hoping that the Senate will pass a massive two-year spending package this week as the bill will boost the spending power of the Pentagon to $738 billion.
The bill has already passed the House of Representatves
As a recent article notes: "The House on Thursday passed 284-149 a two-year budget deal that would boost top-line spending levels and put lawmakers on a path to set line-by-line appropriations for agencies across government. The vote followed months of negotiations spearheaded primarily by House Democrats and the Trump administration and avoids drastic, across-the-board funding cuts that were set to take place in October. It would also suspend the debt ceiling for two years, staving off the threat of a default."
The bill puts discretionary spending at about $1.37 trillion in the 2020 fiscal year, and a bit higher the following year. The Senate is expected to approve the measure this week. President Trump has said he would sign it.
US Defense Secretary and others approve of the bill
Mark Esper US Secretary of Defense said when asked about the measure: “Seven thirty-eight’s a good number. No complaints."
In March the Pentagon requested $718 billion for the 2020 budget. This was about five percent more than Congress enacted to fiscal 2019 or $33 billion. However, the present bill adds $20 billion more than was requested.
The US Congress has until October 1 to agree on the deal, or negotiate a new one with the Trump administration. While the bill is expected to easily pass the Senate, some Senators will vote against it.
When asked if the budget would be enough to equip and invest in service members, John Troxell of Army Command, and senior advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “We are moving in the right direction here in terms of investing in the force. I would tell you with the precious money that Congress gives us, we have to be good stewards with it. In any endeavor that we have we have to make sure that we are staying on the cutting edge of technology, to make sure that we can see those threats first and understand those threats first and act on those threats first and then we can finish decisively.”
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