House appropriators used the same funding mechanism as the House Armed Services Committee in its fiscal 2017 spending bill, potentially setting up a showdown with the White House.
The House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee released its draft of the bill Tuesday night ahead of a closed mark up on Wednesday.
The bill includes $58.6 billion for overseas contingency operations, but uses about $16 billion of the war chest to meet base requirements. This funding mechanism, also used by lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee, leaves only enough money to fund overseas operations through April, according to a release from the committee.
"The U.S. and our allies continue to face attacks and threats from terrorist organizations like [the Islamic State], and our troops must be ready to fight at all times, against any enemy," Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said. "This bill provides the resources needed to keep our military trained and well-equipped, to ensure success in our missions now and in the future, and to care for those who put their lives on the line for us every day."
The bill also includes almost $22 billion to procure 15 Navy ships, including three littoral combat ships. The Navy had asked to buy two in fiscal 2017, but Defense Secretary Ash Carter asked the service to buy only one this year and downselect to a single shipbuilder. Right now two variants are being produced, one by Lockheed Martin another another by Austal USA.
Other acquisition highlights of the bill include: $8.3 billion for 74 Lockheed F-35 aircraft; $1.35 billion for 16 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft; $1.2 billion for 72 Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters; and $2.8 billion for 15 Boeing KC-46 tanker aircraft.
The House spending bill funds a 2.1 percent pay raise for troops. The level is more than the 1.6 percent bump requested by the president, which is what members of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee approved on Tuesday.