House passes $578.6 billion defense bill for 2016

The House of Representatives approved the Defense Appropriations bill for 2016 on Thursday, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) announced.

The bill will allocate $578.6 billion in discretionary funding, higher than the previous fiscal year's bill and approximately $800 million higher than the budget requested by President Barack Obama.

“Above all else, we must provide for the national defense of the United States. Nothing can exist – not our domestic government programs, not our private enterprise, and not our freedoms – without ensuring that basic need is met. Our national security is far too important to fall victim to political games," Rogers said.

Of that total, $88.4 billion has been set aside for war efforts related to the Global War on Terrorism. Portions of this funding will be used for health and other support programs for military personnel and their families alongside security needs and regular military operations.

"We cannot risk having an underfunded military during these uncertain times, and our troops deserve unfailing support as they lay their lives on the line," Rogers said. "This bill fulfills our responsibilities to properly fund programs for our warfighters, our military families, our national security, and for the success of our missions both now and in the future.”

The final vote was 278-149 for the bill.

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