WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on defense spending bills in Congress (all times local):
A House panel has unexpectedly agreed to a proposal by a strongly anti-war Democrat to force a debate on a new war authorization.
The proposal would cut off the sweeping 2001 authorization to use military force against terrorism. The move by California Democrat Barbara Lee unexpectedly won voice vote approval by the House Appropriations Committee as it debated a Pentagon funding bill.
Lee wants to force a debate on a new war authorization, and some Republicans agree that debate is a good idea.
Lee’s amendment would repeal the 2001 law — which has been broadly interpreted to permit military operations beyond those contemplated at the time — 240 days after the bill is enacted.
Lee took to Twitter to claim victory, saying, “GOP & Dems agree: a floor debate & vote on endless war is long overdue.”
President Donald Trump made rebuilding the U.S. armed forces a signature promise during the presidential campaign. But it’s the GOP-controlled Congress that’s leading the way by adding tens of billions of dollars to the annual defense policy bill to pay for active-duty troops, combat aircraft, and ships that he didn’t request.
The House Armed Services Committee approved its version of a $696 billion bill for 2018 just before midnight Wednesday by a 60-1 vote. Hours earlier, the Senate Armed Services Committee unveiled a $700 billion blueprint to revive a military that lawmakers say is long overdue for an overhaul.
Both committees described Trump’s budget request for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 as insufficient after a decade and a half of continuous combat.
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