The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously approved the fiscal year 2018 (FY18) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA funds the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy’s national security programs. Together with the administration’s request of $8 billion for other defense activities, the NDAA supports a total defense budget of $640 billion. The bill also authorizes $60 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations. In sum, the Senate is proposing $700 billion to support NDAA.

On the U.S. House side, the Armed Services Committee voted 60-1 to approve the FY18 NDAA that authorizes the Pentagon to spend $592.8 billion next year—more than $70 billion above the cap. This could put pressure on lawmakers, as the House is having its own struggle with defense spending. The Freedom Caucus is still not happy with defense spending increases without deeper cuts to mandatory and non-defense discretionary funding, which supports health and human services. Although the House has said that the 302(b) allocations are decided for spending bills, they still have not released the numbers, slowing down the federal budget process for FY 2018.

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Public Policy and Mobilization Office will be working with members in key districts and states to lift up the message that our country is strongest, safest, and most economically robust when we invest in our human infrastructure. The budget must support programs that are critical to the health and well-being of America’s families and communities.

Additional reading: "Fight between GOP House chairs imperils budget deal" via Politico.

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