House subpanel passes defense spending bill

House subpanel passes defense spending bill
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The House Appropriations Committee's defense subpanel passed a defense spending bill Wednesday, setting up a potential veto from the White House.

The 2016 Defense Appropriations Act would hew to federal budget caps that set base defense spending to $490 billion. 

However, the bill would circumvent those caps and boost defense spending by adding $89 billion to a war funding account. 

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The president has urged Congress to lift those caps mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act, and has threatened to veto any budget legislation that does not lift the caps on both defense and non-defense spending. 

Republicans leaving the markup session said they had no choice but to follow the sequestration caps set in law. 

"That's the law. I don't think we have much choice but to follow the law," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). 

He said a deal to lift the caps would come outside of the committee, leaving appropriators with few options in the meantime but to appropriate to the Republican budget resolution passed earlier this month. 

"It needs to be a larger conversation. It's not going to happen on this committee, it needs to happen above this committee, so, and I hope that occurs," he said. 

"But right now you have to mark to what the law allows you to do," he added. 

In 2013, House and Senate Budget Committee chairmen Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDemocrats turn on Al Franken VA slashes program that helps homeless veterans obtain housing: report The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Wash.) crafted a deal to partially lift the caps for 2014 and 2015.

The bill is now set to be marked up by the full House Appropriations Committee next week, where it is expected to pass. 

Rep. Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenConservative lawmakers met to discuss GOP chairman’s ouster Overnight Finance: GOP delays work on funding bill amid conservative demands | Senate panel approves Fed nominee Powell | Dodd-Frank rollback advances | WH disputes report Mueller subpoenaed Trump bank records Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him MORE (R-N.J.), chairman of the subpanel, struck a defiant tone when asked whether he was worried about a White House veto. 

"Nope. I'm not," he said.