House Appropriations panel passes defense bill

The House appropriations bill budgets $519.2 billion for the base Pentagon budget and $88.5 billion for overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding.

The bill restores several weapons programs the Pentagon sought to cut in its budget request, including $278 million to keep the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 drones and cuts to $850 million to “pause” retirements and reassignments of National Guard and Reserve aircraft.

The bill’s funding is $3.5 billion higher than the top-line number approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, meaning the two will likely need to reconcile the difference in conference committee.