11:52 GMT +318 June 2019
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    This is an aerial view of the five-sided Pentagon building, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, in Arlington, Va., in 1975

    US House Appropriations Committee Approves $690Bln for DoD Budget in 2020

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Legislation providing $690.2 billion for the US military for the fiscal year 2020 cleared the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee on a 30-22 vote, the committee announced in a press release.

    "In total, the bill provides $690.2 billion in new discretionary spending authority for the Department of Defense … an increase of $15.8 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level, and $8 billion below the [Trump administration’s] request", the release said on Tuesday.

    The legislation funds Defence Department programs such as operations and maintenance, readiness activities, research and development, equipment modernization, and health and quality-of-life programs for service members and military families, the release said.

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    Funding for overseas operations such as wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere are part of a separate budget.

    The legislation also reflects growing tensions between the Democratic-led House of Representatives and President Donald Trump, as evidenced by a prohibition against moving funds between Defence Department accounts to fund a wall on the border with Mexico.

    The bill would repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), the legal justification for the US military presence in Afghanistan, Iraq and parts of Africa, after 240 days.

    The bill also prohibits the use of US funds to aid Saudi-led coalition operations in Yemen.

    In addition, the legislation "provides that nothing in this Act may be construed as authorizing the use of force against Iran".

    Other measures include a ban on the transfer of F-35 jets to Turkey in response to Ankara’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defence systems.

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    The bill authorizes $250 million in security aid for Ukraine, including $50 million for lethal military assistance, while prohibiting US funding for Ukrainian ultra-nationalist paramilitary groups.

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    budget, House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, Pentagon, United States
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