House passes defense policy bill, $770 billion for military

The House approved legislation for the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill, setting defense policy for the upcoming fiscal year and authorizing $770 billion in military spending for the Pentagon.

The bill, passed 245-182 Thursday, also authorizes $45 billion in mandatory spending to begin the next fiscal year, including $12 billion for the military’s reserve combatant commands. That would make them eligible for the 2023 budget under the bill, which they have not received funding for since 2010, Army Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said.

“We have the military prepared for combat again,” Rogers said. “Let’s make the necessary investments to modernize this military in order to provide our troops with the tools to do their job and the equipment and capability to support our warfighters when they need it most.”

If signed into law, the spending plan would increase President Donald Trump’s proposed $716 billion budget for the current fiscal year and sets defense policy for next year. The bill authorizes a 2.6 percent pay raise for military personnel, pays for the Nuclear Posture Review proposal and includes several national security priorities such as extending a troop presence in Europe and hiring 9,500 active-duty soldiers, more than a dozen nuclear-capable B-52s and additional aircraft carriers, Rogers said.

The bill also includes language authorizing the transfer of military personnel currently in Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan and Afghanistan to force reductions at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

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