House Approves Defense Appropriations Bill

The House on Thursday approved its $575.8 billion Fiscal 2017 defense appropriations bill, which includes $58.6 billion in overseas contingency operations funding for personnel and equipment investments. The bill, approved by a floor vote of 282-138, shifts $16 billion from the OCO request to “targeted investments” in additional manning, said House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen on June 14. Frelinghuysen called the OCO funds? “bridge” to the next presidential administration. The Senate’s version has not yet reached the floor for a vote. Pentagon officials have repeatedly warned against using the OCO funds, which in the House version, “fails to provide the vital stability the department needs to focus on the department’s highest joint priorities,” department spokesman Peter Cook said June 9. Defense Secretary Ash Carter also has repeatedly said he is urging President Barack Obama to veto the bill.