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August 28, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR

Senate passes $675 billion defense budget bill, with hopes of avoiding funding lapse next month


WASHINGTON — Senators on Thursday advanced an $857 billion appropriations measure that includes full defense funding for fiscal 2019 and raises hopes that Congress may be able to avoid a government shutdown or short-term budget extension for Pentagon programs this fall.

The measure, which passed 85-7, includes money for the departments of defense, health and human services, labor and education. The so-called “minibus” of appropriations bills was touted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as making America “stronger overseas and right here at home.”

Of the total, $675 billion would be set aside for military spending next year, including nearly $68 billion in overseas contingency funds. The levels are in line with the recently adopted defense authorization bill and the budget deal reached by Democrats and Republicans last spring.

“The funds meet many of the requirements of our military commanders, equipping and training units to meet and to overcome the most dangerous of emerging global threats,” McConnell said before the vote. “As ever, we are to provide adequate training, weaponry and skills so that Americans always prevail on the battlefield.”

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