House passes $ 768 billion defense spending bill, despite GOP opposition
The Democratic-controlled House on Thursday approved a sweeping bipartisan defense policy bill, despite strong opposition from a conservative wing of the Republican Party.
Vote 316-113 in favor of the $ 768 billion defense measure came after lawmakers spent hours debating hundreds of amendments. The bill, which guides Pentagon policy and covers fiscal year 2022, is about 5% higher than the previous year.
It provides for automatic pay increases for U.S. troops, funds branches of the military, veterans health care, and authorizes other military programs, among other measures.
The bill, which is reauthorized each year, typically passes with broad bipartisan support. But a day before the bill was passed, the House Freedom Caucus urged the Republican Party to oppose the measure because of an amendment that would allow the registration of women for the selective service system, which was approved with bipartisan support while the bill was in committee.
The House Republican Conference signaled its support for the bill – officially known as the National Defense Authorization Act – in a note On Monday.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., was one of many lawmakers who introduced an amendment during debate in the House. The Ocasio-Cortez amendment aimed to reduce the invoice price by 10%. However, he failed.
Earlier Thursday, the House also approved a bill to fund Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system after it was removed from the broader spending bill. The vote – 420-9 – came after some progressive Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez, raised objections at the cost of $ 1 billion. In total, eight Democrats and one Republican voted against this bill.
The Senate has already passed the measure, which will now go to a conference committee to resolve disputes.
Haley talbot and Frank Thorp V contributed.