House panel seeks $610B for defense spending in 2017

House panel seeks $610B for defense spending in 2017
© Getty Images

The House Armed Services Committee will authorize $610 billion for defense spending in 2017, according to two congressional sources. 

The top line figure includes $551 billion for base requirements and $59 billion for overseas contingency operations, or war funding.

The $610 billion figure falls in line with President Obama's 2017 defense budget request as well as the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act, which set government spending levels for 2016 and 2017, in order to provide some budget stability and relief from defense budget caps known as sequestration.

"The bottom line is that they didn't end up adding any money to the president's request," said a congressional source.

However, Republicans plan to devote more than a third of overseas contingency operations — $23 billion — to fund things considered to be part of the base budget, which would in effect bring total base spending to $574 billion.

That would also leave only $36 billion for actual war funding, which defense hawks in Congress have said is not enough. 

However, Republicans have discussed a plan to request more war funding next year, under a new administration.

The source said the money taken from operations and maintenance to pay for procurement and increasing Army troop numbers will eventually have to be made up for in a supplemental.

"[They are] assuming a supplemental to make up the difference," said the congressional source. "They've chosen this path. We'll see what happens."