The House Armed Services Committee overwhelmingly voted to approve $553 billion in defense authorizations, part of what The Associated Press called a âbroad defense blueprint,â which includes funding for a 1.6 percent increase in military pay, a number of weapons programs and additional money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The full House will consider the bill, which is also chock full of potentially contentious policy prescriptions, in two weeks.
For example, the bill attempts to resurrect the alternative engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, which was officially canceled by the Pentagon last month. According to the bill, if DoD asks Congress for more money for the original design (which is likely) Congress could OK reopening the alternative engine program.
The committee voted to restrict the presidentâs authority to curtail the U.S. nuclear arsenal, calling into question U.S.-Russia arms-control agreements, such as the New START Treaty ratified by the Senate in December.
The panel also voted to require all four service chiefs to sign off on âdonât ask, donât tellâ plans.