By Kristina Wong - 07/16/14 09:40 AM EDT
The White House Tuesday applauded the Senate Appropriations Defense subcommittee’s $490 billion Pentagon spending bill, saying it would provide “vital tools” to help the U.S. counter the threat of terrorism.
"In a turbulent and uncertain world, the Senate today took an important step forward in providing vital tools to help our military and counterterrorism professionals confront this challenge," Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco wrote a blog post.
The $59.7 billion also fully covers the $5 billion counterterrorism fund President Obama requested to help U.S. troops train and equip foreign partners, including moderate Syrian rebels.
Pro-western Syrian opposition groups are fighting a two-front war against Bashar Assad’s regime and Sunni militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
"Because today’s principal terrorist threats no longer emanate from al-Qa’ida central leadership but from an evolving and decentralized set of actors, we need the flexibility to develop tailored regional solutions to terrorist groups that pose the greatest threat to the United States, wherever they are located," Monaco wrote.
"These funds would allow us to train, equip, advise, and operationally enable our partners to counter them — ultimately leading us to rely less on U.S. forces and more on our frontline allies," she added.