Big news coming out of Washington as President Trump signs off on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — funding the military to the tune of $700bn for FY2018:
“Now Congress must finish the job by eliminating the defense sequester and passing a clean appropriations bill. I think it’s going to happen. We need our military; it’s got to be perfecto,” Trump said. “At this time of grave global threats, I urge Democrats to drop their shutdown threats and to send clean funding and a clean funding bill to my desk that fully funds our great military. Protecting our country should always be a bipartisan issue, just like today’s legislation.”
The NDAA passed Congress last month with large, bipartisan majorities, 356-70 in the House and by voice vote in the Senate.
The bill authorizes $626.4 billion for the base defense budget and $65.7 billion for a war fund known as Overseas Contingency Operations.
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The money would also allow for a 2.4 percent pay raise for troops, higher than the 2.1 percent requested by the administration.
What’s more notable in the NDAA this time around are the pay raises for active duty personnel and the reinforcement of the Overseas Contingency Operations portion of the budget — a portion of the defense budget that in itself dwarfs the defense budgets of most major nations (Russia and Saudi Arabia included).
Perhaps more directly, the NDAA authorizes the construction of more Virginia-class submarines, the replacement for the Los Angeles-class ballistic submarine — built right here at Virginia’s Hampton Roads and vital to both Rep. Rob Wittman and Scott Taylor’s constituencies.