U.S. House passes $717B Pentagon policy measure
The House has passed a $717 billion defense policy bill that would give the military a 2.6 percent pay hike, the largest in nine years.
The bipartisan 351-66 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where a key panel completed a companion measure in a closed-door session on Wednesday.
The annual measure sets policies and a budget outline for the Pentagon that are funded by a subsequent appropriations bill that typically follows its parameters fairly closely.
The military got a major budget increase under the terms of a bipartisan pact passed earlier this year that the Pentagon's many allies in Washington promise will address shortfalls in military readiness such as pilot training, maintenance of equipment, and procurement of new weapons systems.
Maryland Congressman Andy Harris (R-District 1) weighed in saying, "Today, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY19. The NDAA gives our military a well-deserved pay raise – the largest increase in nine years – and increases funding for training programs in every branch. This legislation also provides critical funding to repair worn out equipment and crumbling military buildings. Our military men and women serve our nation selflessly, and Congress is giving our troops the support they need to protect us."