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US Congress Strikes Deal on $700Bln Defense Spending Bill for Fiscal Year 2018

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US lawmakers have decided to boost military spending beyond what the administration of President Donald Trump had requested.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Armed Services Committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives have reached an agreement on a $700-billion defense policy bill for fiscal year 2018.

"The bill authorizes $613.8 billion in base funding, including a $28.5 billion increase above the President’s budget for essential readiness recovery," the National Defense Authorization Act said.

"Further, the bill authorizes an additional $10 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations fund (OCO) for base requirements, and an additional $64.6 billion in the OCO fund to cover contingency operations."

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The bill would increase US troop levels by over 16,000 as well as purchases of military equipment for the federal fiscal year that began on October 1. In addition, the defense spending plan incorporates more money recently requested for US missile defense.

US President Donal Trump has previously requested more than $5 billion in additional defense spending to counter the North Korean threat and to fund military operations in Afghanistan.

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