Senate backs bill to increase U.S. military spending

Added On September 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate passed on Monday its version of a defense policy that would pump 700 billion U.S. dollars into the country's armed forces.

The Senate, controlled by Republicans, passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018, which starts Oct. 1, with an 89-8 vote.

The 1,215-page bill authorizes about 640 billion dollars for Pentagon's main operations, including purchase of weapons and equipment, and financial support to the troops.

Besides, some 60 billion dollars are set to be earmarked to fund U.S. wartime missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

It also includes a wide range of provisions, including an expansion of U.S. missile defense, a ban on Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs products in the federal government, and rejection of the closing of more military bases.

The House of Representatives' version of the NDAA was passed at a similar level of military spending in July, which is well beyond the roughly 620 billion dollars approved last year, after defying the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts set in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

The two versions of the NDAA must be reconciled before Congress can work out a final version to submit to the president. The NDAA has been passed for 55 straight years in Congress.

U.S. President Donald Trump has not threatened to veto the measure despite his criticism of part of the NDAA.