The Department of Defense is one of the biggest winners in the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill working its way through Congress, with the Pentagon receiving $700 billion for the current fiscal year, a $61 billion increase from 2017.
House Speaker Paul Ryan emphasized the Pentagon funding Thursday, calling the spending package “the Trump-Jim Mattis budget,” a reference to the secretary of defense.
The base Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2018 is $590 billion, with an additional $65 billion for the defense component of the Overseas Contingency Operations fund and the remainder appropriated to defense-related activities in other federal agencies. The total is $80 billion higher than the funding levels defined by the 2011 Budget Control Act, which lawmakers agreed to bust through this year and next. Some critics have charged that the spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act have resulted in serious maintenance problems for the military.
Here are some of the big Defense budget numbers and what the money will buy:
- $23.8 billion for 14 Navy ships, about $3 billion more than the Navy requested. The new ships include an aircraft carrier, three littoral combat ships, two Virginia-class submarines and two destroyers.
- $10.2 billion for 90 F-35 fighter jets, 20 more than previously budgeted.
- $1.8 billion for 24 F/A-18 fighter jets, 10 more than the Navy requested.
- $11.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency, $3.3 billion above the original request.
- $238 billion for operations and maintenance. Since the fiscal year is nearly half over, the Pentagon will have more flexibility to spend this part of its budget this year.
- $89.2 billion for research and development.
- $137.7 billion for personnel pay, which includes a 2.4 percent pay increase.