On Tuesday, House republicans, along with, 23 Democrats, quietly passed a military appropriations bill for 2018, despite the current lack of a long-term spending bill that has left America in limbo for many of its social welfare programs.
The stand-alone defense spending bill, which was asked for by Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee and House Freedom caucus, passed with a vote of 250-166. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it is likely to fail.
The bill would allocate $659.2 billion to the Department of Defense. $584 billion will go to base budget funding and $75.1 will go to the wartime Overseas Contingency Operations account, with an additional $5 billion for emergency funding. The total is $28 billion more than was requested by the president and $60 billion more than last year.
By allocating money to the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, Congress has evaded the budget caps for military spending that they agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2010.
The US already spends more on military than the next seven countries – China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the UK, India, France, and Japan – combined. This new budget will require cuts in non-discretionary social spending in order to become funded.
Four Republicans defected –Justin Amash (MI-03), Jimmy Duncan (TN-02), Tom Massie (KY-04), and Mark Sanford (SC-01). The following 23 Democrats joined Republicans to vote for the bill: