Members of U.S. congressional defense committees said on Wednesday they supported a plan for $700 billion in defense spending in fiscal year 2018, backing President Donald Trump’s call for a boost for the military. This was reported by Reuters.
The House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services committees agreed on the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which would increase troop levels and purchases of fighter jets and ships for the federal fiscal year that began on Oct. 1.
The spending plan is larger than the $603 billion in spending proposed by Trump in May. Trump wants to pay for a military spending increase by slashing non-defense spending.
Senior staff for the Armed Services committees said the NDAA gives $634 billion for the same programs, with total defense spending, including the Pentagon and defense related programs at the FBI and other agencies to $699.6 billion.
The Pentagon alone would get $692 billion of that, including $65.7 billion for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The draft law “authorizes $350 million to provide security assistance to Ukraine, including defensive lethal assistance. The legislation restricts half of these funds until the Secretary of Defense certifies that Ukraine has taken substantial action to make defense institutional reforms critical to sustaining capabilities developed using security assistance,” as stated in the official explanation published on website of U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services.
To become law the NDAA must be passed by both the House and Senate and signed into law by Trump. The bill, one of the few pieces of legislation that gets through Congress every year, has passed every year since 1961.
As it was reported ealier it will be possible to extend the military support for Ukraine, including the supply of weapons after the final adoption of the defense budget for 2018 by the US Congress. The US Committee on Armed Services of the US reported this.
'The US provide Ukraine extremely important help but there is also another variant of improving the qualification and arming of the Ukrainian militaries. The extended number of the equipment and means is provided at the project of the defense budget that was earlier adopted by the House of Representatives; also it includes the financing and right of the president to provide Ukraine with the lethal arms', the message said.