The US Senate is likely to pass a $700 billion defense policy bill to boost military spending such as weapons and wartime missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.
The legislation is expected to be approved on Monday which will require the Defense Department to deploy 14 additional ground-based interceptors at Alaska that will expand to 58 the number of interceptors designed to destroy incoming warheads. The department also is tasked with finding a storage site for as many as 14 spare interceptors, and senators envision an eventual arsenal of 100 with additional missile fields in the Midwest and on the East Coast, Associated Press reported.
The bill approved by the Armed Services Committee by a vote of 27-0 in late June would provide $640 billion for core Pentagon operations, such as buying weapons and paying troops and another $60 billion for wartime missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, the agency reported.
Trump’s budget request sought $603 billion for basic functions and $65 billion for overseas missions.
With North Korea’s nuclear program a clear threat to the U.S. and its allies, the bill would provide $8.5 billion to strengthen U.S. missile and defense systems. That’s $630 million more than the Trump administration sought for those programs, according to a committee analysis.
Although the bill calls for more military spending than at any point during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, major hurdles need to be cleared before all the extra money materializes. Congress would have to roll back a 2011 law that set strict limits on military spending. That’s a tall order in the Senate, where support from Democrats will be necessary to get the 60 votes required to lift the so-called budget caps.