WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon faces election-year roadblocks in persuading Congress to back cost-saving defense cuts as the military moves away from robust wartime budgets.
The House panel that decides defense spending came out with a $570 billion blueprint Thursday that spares the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, gives military personnel a 1.8 percent pay raise and rebuffs Pentagon efforts to make troops and their families pay slightly more for housing and groceries at on-base commissaries.
The spending bill echoes the broad defense policy bill that the House overwhelmingly passed last week that saves ships and aircraft despite pleas from senior military officers for the reductions. It also reflects lawmakers' reluctance to trim personnel benefits for military personnel and their families amid increasing questions about the health care provided to veterans.
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, said the bill provides the Pentagon and intelligence agencies "with the resources needed to maintain and modernize the best equipped and most capable military in the world today and in the future."
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