The last minute signing of the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill in the US is a big windfall for the Pentagon, who will be getting the majority of the money, in the realm of $700 billion. This includes 14 new ships, 28 new helicopters, and 56 of the costly F-35 warplanes. This $700 billion does not include other military-related spending, including the VA.
This is part of a $61 billion spending increase over the previous year, and virtually every aspect of the Pentagon is getting more money, more equipment, higher pay, and just general boosts in funding. Which isn’t to say everyone’s happy.
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the House Armed Services Committee chairman, complained that the massive increase is “not enough to fix our problems.” Though the military budget is tentatively to swell to $716 next year, policy-makers seem to be setting the stage for another multi-month round of outdoing one another on increases.
The funding covers an active put military of 1,322,500 people, with 816,900 reservists, and offers a long list of new vehicles and gear for them. $65.2 billion is also set aside for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), the budget that nominally is for war, but which in practice the Pentagon can readily shift around to different priorities.