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House passes $675B Pentagon spending bill

House passes $675B Pentagon spending bill
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The House on Thursday advanced a $675 billion Defense Department spending bill for fiscal 2019.

Lawmakers voted 359 to 49 to approve the bill, which would provide $606.5 billion in base discretionary funding and $68.1 billion for a war fund known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account.

One additional amendment to the bill was adopted before the final vote, Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkPelosi signals no further action against Omar Progressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias Pelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement MORE’s (D-Mass.) provision to move $14 million to support Pentagon innovation.

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Four other amendments were shot down, including two from Rep Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherBiden budget includes 0M to help agencies recover from SolarWinds hack in proposed budget GOP lawmaker calls for Wuhan probe to 'prevent the next pandemic' Lawmakers introduce bill to protect critical infrastructure against cyberattacks MORE (R-Wis.) -- one to increase Air Force buys of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) by $33 million, the other to boost Navy AMRAAM procurement by $24 million.

An amendment offered by Rep. Bill FosterGeorge (Bill) William FosterRepublicans seek vindication amid reemergence of Wuhan lab theory Overnight Health Care: White House pushes for independent investigation on COVID-19 origins | Former Trump FDA chief cites growing circumstantial evidence on lab theory | US advises against traveling to Japan ahead of Olympics COVID-19 Wuhan lab theory gets more serious look MORE (D-Ill.) to block dollars meant to develop a space-based missile defense layer also failed.

The most anticipated amendment, a proposal to free up $1 billion to speed up buys of the Navy’s Virginia-class submarine, lost big in a 144 to 267 vote. That amendment was offered by Reps. Rob WittmanRobert (Rob) Joseph WittmanOvernight Defense: Iran talks set up balancing act for Biden | Pentagon on alert amid Russian saber rattling | Lawmakers urge Pentagon to be pickier about commanders' requests for more troops Battle heats up over Pentagon spending plans Marine Corps commandant says China, Russia to pose biggest challenges for years MORE (R-Va.), and Joe CourtneyJoseph (Joe) D. CourtneyNew Air Force One jets may be a year late, cost more, Pentagon official says House passes bill to prevent violence in health care workplaces We can't afford to lose one more nurse — passing workplace violence prevention bill would help MORE (D-Conn.), the chairman and ranking member of the Armed Services seapower subcommittee, whose states house shipyards that build the subs.

Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan had pushed back on that proposal in a letter to House appropriators on Monday.

Such a move, Shanahan argued, would require the Navy over several years to take $6 billion dollars away from other vital shipbuilding programs.

The House defense spending bill now must be reconciled with the Senate’s version, which was advanced by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. The measure will be taken up after the July 4th break.

The House’s budget amount includes a 15,600 troop increase across the military, and a 2.6 percent pay raise for service members beginning in January.

In addition, the bill would provide $9.4 billion for 93 F-35 fighter jets - 16 more jets than the administration requested and four more than Senate appropriators want – as well as $22.7 billion for 12 new Navy ships, and $145.7 billion for equipment purchases and upgrades.

House lawmakers had inserted several amendments into the bill leading up to the vote, including a provision to add $10 million to aid in bringing Korea War remains from North Korea to the United States, and a proposal to block the Pentagon from business with Chinese telecom companies ZTE and Huawei.

The House last month approved a similar provision to the ZTE amendment in its fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, and the Pentagon already bans the ZTE and Huawei products from its base stores.