U.S. House Passes $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill, Significantly Increasing Defense Spending

A new report details increasing U.S. military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing trade sanctions against China on March 22, 2018, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 22, 2018
AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a $1.3 trillion government spending bill to avert a government shutdown and fund federal agencies through Sept. 30, sending the measure to the Senate.

The Republican-led chamber voted 256-167 despite opposition from the party's conservative House Freedom Caucus. The Senate also must pass the bill before current funding expires late Friday night. The White House has said Trump would back it. The bill increases U.S. defense spending signifiganlty, the largest year-over-year increase in fifteen years.

Defense one broke down exactly where the money will be spent: 

- $654.6 billion overall for the Defense Department, including "$589.5 billion in the base budget and $65.2 billion in the overseas contingency operations 
- $137.7 billion for personnel and pay, including a 2.4 percent pay raise
- $89.2 billion for research and development, up $16 billion over 2017
- $144.3 billion for procurement, up $25.4 billion over 2017.
- $238 billion for operations and maintenance, which adds $0.9 billion to the Trump adminstration's 2018 request.

The bill's passage comes the same week that an unclassified White House report sent to Congress detailed U.S. involvement in seven different conflicts across the globe. The “Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States’ Military Force and Related National Security Operations,” is an official document that the White House legally must send every six months to Congress detailing U.S. military action abroad, a new regulation enacted by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.

The report gives details about U.S. military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger. U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned on a platform of isolationism and recently called George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq the "single worst decision ever made," but his administration has increased U.S. involvement in each of the seven conflicts.