House Approves $696 Billion Military Spending Bill

Includes $75 Billion for Overseas Contingency Operations

In a 344-81 vote today, the House of Representatives passed their version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a $696 billion spending bill which far exceeds the amount of money sought by the Pentagon and the Trump Administration

The bill has a base $621.5 billion funding, nad $75 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, which includes at least $10 billion that are earmarked as part of the OCO but intended to be spent on domestic military spending.

The bill was supported by a majority of Democrats, and the overwhelming majority of Republicans. Indeed, only eight Republicans voted against the bill, with three other abstentions. The bill still has to be reconciled with its Senate alternative before becoming law.

President Trump had proposed a very large increase in military spending, compared to those sought in recent years, with an eye on a bigger Navy. Congressional hawks were deeply critical of even this large proposed increase as insufficient, and sought to outdo it with a bigger, pricier version.

There still hasn’t been a proper resolution to the 2011 sequestration rules, which Congress has ignored every year since at any rate, but on paper, the legal cap on the pre-OCO budget is supposed to be $549 billion, which will obviously be far exceeded.

Obviously this is by far the biggest military spending bill on the planet, many times what the second largest military, China, spends in a year.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.