Senate Introduces $700B National Defense Authorization Bill

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United States Capitol Building

Lawmakers in the Senate introduced a $700 billion defense authorization bill on Wednesday that lays the ground for a budget battle with House budget planners and the White House.

Officials from the Senate Armed Services Committee said in a statement that the proposal was “necessary to help the U.S. military restore readiness, rebuild capacity, and modernize the force for future challenges.”

The legislation passed out of the Senate Committee in an unanimous 27-0 vote and is expected to be considered on the Senate floor by July. The 2018 NDAA adds $97 billion to the budget proposed by the White House.

Along with other spending proposals, before the Senate plan can go forward lawmakers must find a way around spending caps mandated by Congress for FY 2018, set at $549 billion. The Senate plan calls for $640 billion in base defense spending, well over the $621 billion proposed for base defense in the House plan, or the $603 billion requested by the White House.

In addition to the base budget, the Senate plan also seeks $60 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, or what is effectively a Pentagon slush fund.

On Monday the House Armed Services Committee unveiled its own military spending plan, totaling $696.5 billion.

While the Senate draft calls for more spending, 54 more aircraft and five more naval ships than the House plan, it requests fewer troops and a smaller pay raise for military personnel. Compared to the White House’s proposal, however, the Senate plan requests some 15,000 more soldiers.

John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the plan will “start the process of rebuilding our military after six years of devastating cuts to our defense budget.”

American military spending, contrary to the Senator’s claim, has steadily increased overall in the last several years, growing by 1.7 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The United States in early 2016 spent more on its military than the next eight largest militaries in the world combined.

The bill also made mention of the threat posed by Russia.

“The committee believes the United States must do more to deter Russian aggression, whether across its borders or in cyberspace,” reads the summary version of the bill.

In February, a White House proposal for a $54 billion hike in military spending alone accounted for 80 percent of Russia’s entire military budget, perhaps putting the dire threat of Russian Aggression into context.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted to advance the legislation on Wednesday, but said the bill should contain provisions regarding the American prison in Guantanamo Bay.

“FY18 NDAA should prohibit the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States for medical treatment, require public notification prior to the transfer of Gitmo detainees and authorize the direct hiring of uniquely qualified personnel at our depots, plants, shipyards and arsenals,” Inhofe said in a press release.

Ultimately, none of the proposals can go forward until a deal is struck to get around the spending caps for 2018 imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

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  • The question is whether they will still have the authority to extrajudicially murder us on the street with drones.

  • f16hoser

    They can live in fear. I refuse to. They can take that NDAA and shove-it where the sun don’t shine. I can’t believe how stupid some Americans are. Why can’t they see their own enslavement by their elected government??? What a bunch of IDIOTS!

  • Guido FL

    It costs big serious billions to be the worlds policeman and fight useless never ending wars !

  • el Gallinazo

    I understand that the Fed also prints the Monopoly money for Hasbro.


    The ‘Same’ National Defense Authorization Act that Obama signed, granting
    our government the authority to kill Americans, ON American soil, without
    due process,Charges, or a day in court….THAT NDAA?

  • dav1bg

    $700 Billion would buy 4 million brand new houses. Hey Senate, how about we stop killing women and children and give 4 million people in America a free brand new house.

    • Elaine.Benes, II

      Wonder how hard they would all chuckle at such an “outrageous” proposal.

    • Neil Tana

      Can’t do that. The serfs get nothing and will still get taxed into poverty. Government compromised by the rich who only care about their lively hood and the that of America who’s power and success is in the American masses. When will this illogical BS stop already.

  • NonYo Business

    700 Billion for War… and a pittance for the slave’s school systems and infrastructure.

    • Elaine.Benes, II

      Or anything else that would be of benefit to those of us that have been and are gonna keep paying for their GD non-stop war mongering. Meanwhile, i guess i will keep buying my kid’s school supplies and pay full price for that slop they call a school lunch while i figure out how to pay our rent each month while slaving full-time at what used to be a decent paying job.

  • Uncle Hormone

    They just activated the U.S. Space Corps as well!
    Should have been reset as the U.S. Aerospace Force, saving millions in stationary, logistics, equipment painting, etc.
    It does NOT close Guantanamo, or provides for a speedy trial for those held there for years…
    Neither does this put military people first! The USAF should have been at the forefront for changes, especially with insisting that the USAF Warrant Officer Corps be re-established under the current Public Law in place since the 1950’s!

  • Uncle Hormone

    And; did the so-called ‘Lawmakers’ and President Trump exclude ‘Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens’?
    The NDAA in it’s current form is highly UN-Constitutional!!! Violates the right to a speedy trial, and the 4th Amendment!

  • CozmicSeer

    If they haven’t been able to “modernize their armed forces” with all of the money they’ve already taken from the taxpayer, throwing more at them isn’t going to do squat. It’s the military-industrial complex feeding at the pigs trough again and again. No other country comes even close to this amount and they seem to have a much better military than this country does for what monies they’ve taken from the American people. Eisenhower’s warning about them was spot on and it’s too bad he couldn’t have put a stop to it back then. A lot of the national debt is directly attributed to their actions(or lack there of.) If any businessman ran his company the way the military does(and this is no disrespect to the men and women who serve with the right intentions), that business would have gone bankrupt long, long ago.

  • Elaine.Benes, II

    War Pigs…every last one of them.

  • Elaine.Benes, II

    Say What?!!! But that would only benefit those of us who are paying that $700B…We will NOT have anything like that going on here in ameriKa.

  • weewilliewacko

    Get rid of the part of the NDAA that allows for UNCONSTITUTIONAL INDEFINITE DETENTION!!