The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023 during a late-night marathon markup, authorizing $840 billion to boost troop pay, purchase new battleships, vehicles and tanks, and fund other programs, reports The Hill.
The committee voted to increase the budget’s top line by $37 billion, 42-17, an amendment proposed by Reps. Jared Golden, D-Maine, and Elaine Luria, D-Va.
The Senate Armed Services Committee last week approved a $45 billion increase with a top-line figure of $857 billion in its version of FY2023 NDAA legislation. The House and Senate will vote on their own versions of the annual defense policy bill and reconcile differences between the two versions in a conference committee.
The House bill includes a 4.6% increase in troop pay, eight new battleships, funding for the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine and the B-21A bomber, 44 Abrams tank upgrades, 102 Stryker vehicle upgrades, and another 61 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
Funding for ships, vehicles and missile launchers not requested by the Pentagon was also added to the legislation. Also approved for $2 billion for eight F/A-18 fighter jets and other Navy aircraft.
Additionally, $550 million for additional Ukraine lethal aid and for “advance planning to support U.S. presence on the Eastern front” was added to the bill.
Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., praised the bill’s passage as “a powerful, bipartisan message to our allies and partners, global competitors, and the American people: democracy still works – and it can deliver real results.”
The legislation, Smith said, “supports the largest service member pay raise in decades, expands the talent pipeline, and partners with research institutions to accelerate the development of cutting-edge technologies that will support those in uniform.”
The House must take up the legislation in July. From there, the bill will join the Senate’s version and head to the full Senate next month.
Lawmakers from both chambers will then work to negotiate a final, combined compromise.
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