The House on Friday overwhelmingly passed a wide-ranging, $696.5 billion defense policy bill that goes far above President Trump’s budget request.

Lawmakers voted 344-81 on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which broadly lays out policy and spending rules for the Pentagon and the military branches.

The bill would authorize $621.5 billion for the Pentagon’s base budget and Energy Department nuclear programs and $75 billion for war funding, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account. In addition, the bill takes $10 billion in OCO dollars to pay for base budget needs.

Only eight Republicans voted against the legislation, which passes Trump’s defense request of $603 billion. Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), John Duncan (Tenn.), Tom Garret (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Andy Harris (Md.), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Tom McClintock (Calif.) were the Republicans voting no.

The bill has a few roadblocks ahead of it, with the biggest issue in the form of spending caps as stipulated by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA). That act sets the Pentagon base budget as no higher than $549 billion. Lawmakers must either repeal the BCA or increase its budget caps.

Democrats pushed for the latter solution on the House floor prior to the bill passing.

House Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said it is “very possible that $72 billion of what is in this bill is going to disappear between now and the end of this year unless we address the broader issue of sequestration and budget caps.”

Despite the concerns, Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) touted the passage as a “really promising step in the right direction.”

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“I have high confidence that the path we’re on will be the path we stay on,” Thornberry told reporters following the vote. “I understand there are several steps to go and we’ll take step by step in doing that, but I think and hope we have a budget on the floor pretty soon.”

  • Zaphod Braden

    Remember “We have to kill Communists because they are going to take your HOME, your FAMILY, and your Way of Life”? Well our treasonous politicians are GIVING them away.
    Why are we wasting TRILLION$ on weapons to fight Russia and China? Our borders are wide open to pillaging, raping, mudering invaders and the PEDOpriests & politicians “welcome” them.
    All the Russians & Chinese have to do is drop their weapons and WALK into America and Europe, demand refuge and WELFARE and make themselves at home. Our PANSY ASSED MISSleaders will give them your Social Security and Country.
    Remember that Chinese general who threatened to ship 100million peasants here? Our PEDOpriests/politicians would love that.
    NATO wants to take on RUSSIA?! (and maybe China)
    NATO cannot defend it’s own people at HOME.
    NATO cannot beat ISIS-AlQueda-Taliban-AlNusra
    NATO families will be raped & murdered as NATO Troops fight far from home.
    NATO installations will be sabotaged by Refujihadi Invaders.
    NATO Troops should turn their weapons on their ENEMIES that are betraying them.

    NATO defeated itself by being invaded and overrun by the REFUJIHADIS from the wars NATO started but can’t FINISH …………. THAT has to be a FIRST in all history.

  • Zaphod Braden

    ….. The Pentagon could not protect a pizza from Michael Moore
    9/10/2001: Rumsfeld says $2.3 TRILLION Missing from Pentagon
    Congress has done more damage to America then all the “terrorists” combined. In league with the BANKERS, Congress looted homes (fraudulent foreclosures), Social Security, pensions, savings(inflation), to the tune of TRILLIONS of dollars. Congress and the Bankers KILLED 10’s of THOUSANDS of Americans through loss of medical insurance, family break-ups, and stresses associated with their LOOTING. Congress in league with the Military Industrial Complex has LOOTED the Treasury of TRILLIONS (9/10/2001: Rumsfeld says $2.3 TRILLION Missing from Pentagon, 01/30/2012 The Pentagon doesn’t know what happened to more than $600 million in CASH [remember the shrinkwrapped pallets of YOUR taxes?] held at Saddam Hussein’s palace in Baghdad ) . Congress did not just GIVE American jobs to COMMUNIST China, Congress gave TAX BREAKS to treasonous corporations who sent AMERICAN jobs there. Thus Our technology, experience, and wealth was shipped away.CONGRESS is a greater ENEMY to America then the so-called “terrorists” ever dreamt of being.
    $8.5 TRILLION In Taxpayer Money Doled Out By Congress To The Pentagon Since 1996 Has NEVER BEEN ACCOUNTED FOR. The military has cooked the books to hide trillions, that’s right trillions, in missing money and equipment. The military calls them “plugs,” a curious term for fraud. These are knowingly fake figures used to hide the fact that there is no accurate record of the money. The plugs are generally the work of the office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Required to complete an audit, the staff simply faked the numbers. The Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. Such an organized system of mutual payoffs greases the ever growing industry of destruction.