Congress unable to reach deal on defense budget

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Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Ranking Member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., at right, said money remains a "significant issue" as lawmakers in Congress indicated Friday that they will not finish an annual defense budget bill by the end of the month. (Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)
From Stripes.com
Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Ranking Member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., at right, said money remains a "significant issue" as lawmakers in Congress indicated Friday that they will not finish an annual defense budget bill by the end of the month. (Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)

Congress unable to reach deal on defense budget

by: Travis J. Tritten | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 17, 2016

WASHINGTON – Congress will not finish an annual defense budget bill this month, putting off a decision on a controversial $18-billion spending hike until after the November election, according to sources familiar with negotiations.

The House and Senate have broken off negotiations after being unable to reach a deal on the sprawling National Defense Authorization Act, which has become a battleground over the proposal to boost spending for more military hardware, troops, training and higher pay.

House Republicans are pushing to take the $18 billion out of the Islamic State group war fund, saying the military is overstressed and needs to invest the money in daily operations. But the Senate has rejected the proposal, which faces strong Democratic opposition and would cause deployed forces to run out of money in April.

The money remains a “significant issue,” Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee and a top negotiator of the NDAA bill, told Defense News on Thursday.

Read more at: http://www.stripes.com/1.429405

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