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  • Writer's pictureASSA Staff

The House Passes $694.6 Billion Pentagon Spending Bill for FY2021

The defense bill was approved Friday as part of a $1.3 trillion package that also included fiscal 2021 funding for labor, health and human services, and education; commerce, justice and science; energy and water; financial services and general government; and transportation and housing and urban development.

The package passed in a largely party-line 217-197 vote.

What’s in it: The defense appropriations bill, you’ll recall, is the one that would allocate $1 million to the Army to pay to rename bases and other properties that have Confederate numbers.

The bill also contains several provisions aimed at preventing the Trump administration from using any more Pentagon funding on the border wall, including limiting the amount of money it can transfer between accounts.

During this week’s debate about the bill, lawmakers also added an amendment to block funding for the Trump administration’s transgender military ban. Meanwhile, lawmakers shot down an amendment from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) that would have banned funding from being used by the military to recruit on Twitch and other e-sports platforms. The House voted 126-292 against the amendment Thursday night.

Other highlights of what’s included: -- Repeals for the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force  -- A ban for funding for military action against Iran -- Funding for a 3 percent pay increase for troops -- $9.3 billion for 91 F-35 fighter jets -- $22.3 billion for nine new Navy ships -- $758 million to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on subcontractors in the defense industrial base.

What’s next: The Senate Appropriations Committee hasn’t moved on any fiscal 2021 spending bills amid disagreements over whether to include police reform and additional COVID-19 spending in the bills.

With no deal likely, Congress is likely to pass a stopgap measure to keep the government funded and prevent a shutdown ahead of November’s elections. The outcome of the election may influence whether the spending bills progress or are tossed aside until next year, when control of the House, Senate and White House may be different.

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