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house Bill H.R. 2810

Authorizing $700 Billion in Defense Spending for Fiscal Year 2018

Argument in favor

Congress’s foremost constitutional duty to provide for the national defense, and while this bill is a compromise it will strengthen the military at a time when global threats are increasing and funding is hard to come by.

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07/08/2017
It is the Federal Governments primary responsibility to ensure the defense of our nation. 8 years of Obama has made our military readiness suffer. I don't care that we spend a lot more than everyone else on defense. It's pretty obvious that when America is the strongest military power on Earth, the world is a better place.
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Shelly 's Opinion
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07/08/2017
This passed a committee that is in the "know" on the subject with a 60-1 bipartisan vote. That's a pretty strong indicator, especially in this day and age, that the request is reasonable and will allow us to successfully address very real, complicated, and ongoing threats.
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Joseph's Opinion
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07/14/2017
I love the amount of people on this app who seem to be "experts" on national defense
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Argument opposed

The U.S. shouldn’t be spending nearly $700 billion on national defense, an amount significantly outpacing America’s most significant rivals. A smaller military would free up funding for other priorities.

Curt's Opinion
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07/08/2017
An increase in military spending is not defense spending it is offense spending. The kind of threat the USA faces these days requires a strategic and presence military. Increasing spending will get the USA no further with terrorists then we currently are. All an increase in military spending will do is give money to investors in the defense industry. It makes absolutely no sense to say "America First" then cut spending on domestic programs within the USA and then hand tax dollars to overpriced over budget defense contracts.
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Rahm's Opinion
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07/08/2017
The choice seems simple: You can either allocate wealth toward the betterment of your own country or devote dizzying amounts of it to the destruction of other countries. What's it gonna be?
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Adrianne's Opinion
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07/10/2017
Spend that money on healthcare, infrastructure, and education.
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bill Progress


  • EnactedDecember 12th, 2017
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed September 18th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 89 Yea / 8 Nay
  • The house Passed November 14th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 355 Yea / 70 Nay
      house Committees
      Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities
      Committee on Armed Services
      Tactical Air and Land Forces
      Military Personnel
      Readiness
      Seapower and Projection Forces
      Strategic Forces
      Committee on Homeland Security
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
    IntroducedJune 7th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 2810?

This bill would authorize $695 billion in defense spending for fiscal year 2018, of which $634.2 billion would go to the base defense budget while $65.7 billion would be set aside for Overseas Contingency Operations.


RESOURCES

Troops & Families: This legislation increases the size of the Army, Navy, AIr Force, Army Guard & Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard. Total personnel levels would rise from 1,670,400 active & reserve troops as authorized in fiscal year 2017 to 1,689,300. The military would receive an across the board pay raise of 2.4 percent.

Military medical facilities used by deployed troops and their families would remain open, reversing a decision that would’ve reduced inpatient care for military treatment facilities outside of the U.S. Also, the bill would reimburse a service member up to $500 for a spouse’s expenses related to obtaining licensing or certification in another state because of a military move.

Equipment: Acquisitions for several key defense technologies would stepped up, including:

  • 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, rather than the 70 requested in the president’s budget;

  • 24 F/A-18 Super Hornets, rather than the 14 requested;

  • 71 AH-64 Apache helicopters rather than the 61 requested;

  • Three guided missile destroyers rather than the two requested;

  • Three littoral combat ships rather than the one requested;

  • 85 upgraded Abrams tanks rather than the 56 requested;

  • 93 upgraded Bradley fighting vehicles rather than the 60 requested


ADDRESSING THREATS

Afghanistan: Funds would be made available to enhance the Afghan Air Force’s air fleet and expands the nation’s Special Security Forces. The Secretary of Defense would also be required to provide an Afghanistan that looks at the trajectory of U.S. efforts beyond the next five years, which includes a timeline and necessary resources to achieve U.S. goals.

Syria & Iraq: This bill would provide continued support to partners combatting ISIS through Operation Inherent Resolve. The DOD would provide a comprehensive, regional strategy for Syria that describes America’s long-term objectives in the wake of active combat against ISIS.

Ukraine: Defensive lethal assistance would be provided to Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression. $150 million would be made available for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative to train, equip, and assist the Ukrainian military and security services.

Russia: To counter Russian aggression in Ukraine, its support for the Assad regime, interference in the U.S. election, violations of disarmament treaties, and provocative actions against American and NATO forces funding for the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) would be increased. This involves heel-to-toe rotations of American combat units to Europe, prepositioning of up to a division set’s worth of equipment, infrastructure improvements, and additional training. The DOD would be required to examine placing permanent U.S. troops back in the European theater.

In response to violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, this legislation would authorize $50 million to develop military options to respond to Russian capabilities deployed that violate the treaty. If Russia hasn’t returned to compliance with the treaty after 15 months, the U.S. would no longer be bound to the treaty as a matter of domestic law.

Counterterrorism: This bill would fully authorize and resource the counterterrorism efforts of U.S. Special Operations Forces including ongoing operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere.


NEW TECHNOLOGIES

Access to Space: Development of a new American rocket engine would continue in order to replace the Russian RD-180 engine that the U.S. currently relies on.

Missile Defense: The president’s budget request for the missile defense program would be fully funded, and an additional $4.4 billion would be added in response to ballistic missile threats from North Korea. That would allow for additional procurement of the THAAD, Patriot MSE, and SM-3 IB interceptors. The Missile Defense Agency would also be required to develop a space-based sensor layer for ballistic missile defense.

Nuclear Forces: The full budget request would be provided for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear weapons activities and defense nuclear nonproliferation program, including the modernization of America’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

Cyber Operations: A total of $8 billion would be provided for cyber operations, an increase of $1.7 billion, to support DOD’s defense and offensive cyberspace capabilities.

Impact

Members of the U.S. military, their families, and retirees; foreign allies of the U.S. military; and the DOD or other affected agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2810

The CBO is in the process of estimating the cost of this legislation.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), chair of the House Armed Services Committee, offered the following statement when the committee passed this legislation:

“Congress’s most important constitutional duty is to ‘provide for the common defense.’ For 56 straight years now, this Committee has upheld that obligation by passing the National Defense Authorization Act with overwhelming bipartisan support. This year’s bill reforms, repairs, and rebuilds our military. It provides for our troops and their families and helps ensure that our men and women in uniform are fully trained, equipped, and supported. And, it sets national policy in a dangerous and complicated world.”

This legislation was passed by the House Armed Services Committee on a bipartisan vote of 60-1.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Navy / Public Domain)

AKA

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018

Official Title

To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

    It is the Federal Governments primary responsibility to ensure the defense of our nation. 8 years of Obama has made our military readiness suffer. I don't care that we spend a lot more than everyone else on defense. It's pretty obvious that when America is the strongest military power on Earth, the world is a better place.
    Like (189)
    Follow
    Share
    An increase in military spending is not defense spending it is offense spending. The kind of threat the USA faces these days requires a strategic and presence military. Increasing spending will get the USA no further with terrorists then we currently are. All an increase in military spending will do is give money to investors in the defense industry. It makes absolutely no sense to say "America First" then cut spending on domestic programs within the USA and then hand tax dollars to overpriced over budget defense contracts.
    Like (801)
    Follow
    Share
    The choice seems simple: You can either allocate wealth toward the betterment of your own country or devote dizzying amounts of it to the destruction of other countries. What's it gonna be?
    Like (497)
    Follow
    Share
    Spend that money on healthcare, infrastructure, and education.
    Like (282)
    Follow
    Share
    Sorry, hawks, we need to dump the wars we are in, bring our troops home, & take care of them. Many of these new systems we don't need & many the military don't want. These are sops for congress' home territories & have nothing to do with our military preparedness. The troops do deserve pay raises. We don't need to be outsourcing military jobs to the private sector.
    Like (170)
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    Please fund services here inside the U.S., we cannot have "America First" if we defund all our own projects and instead buy more weapons. This is only furthering the industrial military complex.
    Like (148)
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    No, this budget needs to be cut. Not with a scalpel, either. With a chainsaw. Cut the military back to a defense force. This budget is funding an empire.
    Like (117)
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    There should be a law that separates the salaries of our military heroes from the budget requests of buying more hardware. Defense authorization bills are are shopping spree of waste, fraud and abuse. I'm all for robust defense and even better offense. But we outspend the next 12 countries combined, maybe we could reduce that to say, 10 for a few years and fix the roads or heaven forbid, fix the healthcare system.
    Like (94)
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    This passed a committee that is in the "know" on the subject with a 60-1 bipartisan vote. That's a pretty strong indicator, especially in this day and age, that the request is reasonable and will allow us to successfully address very real, complicated, and ongoing threats.
    Like (74)
    Follow
    Share
    Let's take care of infrastructure and cleaning up at home as a first priority. We don't need to deploy anymore Americans. There are other ways to address our overpopulation that are not quite so expensive or so heartless.
    Like (66)
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    We are fighting where we don't belong. But, primary reason For my nay vote is if we cannot afford a fair and reasonable healthcare bill for all, we cannot afford such a hefty defense bill.
    Like (59)
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    I love the amount of people on this app who seem to be "experts" on national defense
    Like (56)
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    We need less military spending and more on infrastructure.
    Like (52)
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    Do we really need to allocate that much to an already bloated military budget? Time to reconsider where our priorities are.
    Like (49)
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    We spend more on military spending than the next 8 countries combined. I believe we need a strong military, but we should not be throwing money into a slush fund for policing the world. Instead work with allies, increase efficiencies, spend more on diplomacy, and use technology to drive up performance. You will find that the money is already there. Start with staffing the state department!
    Like (39)
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    I'm absolutely against this — there is no reason to be spending this exorbitant amount of money on the military. I know a man who was in the army for about 26 years before leaving and immediately becoming a middle school science teacher. He said on multiple occasions that the military budget was much too high, that he often had MILLIONS of dollars in unnecessary funding for projects or training soldiers, and would get in trouble for not spending all of it, even when it wasn't needed. Then he became a teacher, and got a $200 budget for the entire school year. He was invested in making the class engaging, with a lot of labs and experiments, and often paid for supplies with his own money. He expressed often that the education should be much higher and the military's budget should be cut. Looking at the budget should make this obvious to everyone, but if it isn't, there's a perspective from someone highly qualified to give his opinion of military and education budgets: a veteran of over 20 years and a middle school teacher. This is long-winded and not very eloquent but I wanted to share that perspective, and I wholeheartedly agree with it.
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    Spend the money domestically.
    Like (31)
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    We should be doing something about the debt and deficit instead of working to enrich the military industrial complex. And we need infrastructure.
    Like (30)
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    I thought we wanted to cut spending.
    Like (26)
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    Seems like a stupid thing to be spending money on with the myriad of other issues facing us.
    Like (23)
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