House approves Defense Appropriations bill for FY 2015

The House approved the fiscal year 2015 Defense Appropriations bill on Friday on a bipartisan vote of 340-73 to fund critical security needs, military operations and health programs with $491 billion in discretionary funding.

The level of discretionary funding is $4.1 billion higher than the enacted level of fiscal year 2014 and $200 million higher than President Obama's request. The bill includes $79.4 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations for ongoing war efforts abroad. The OCO funding was the same level assumed in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the president's budget.

"The bipartisan legislation passed today provides funding for our highest national duty - the security of our country, the sustainment of our military operations, and the well-being of the brave men and women of our Armed Forces," Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said. "The bill helps to meet the most pressing needs to address current and arising threats to the safety of our nation, while finding ways to trim excess and reduce lower-priority programs without negatively affecting our troops or the success of our military missions."

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), the chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said the bill is meant to support warfighters now and going forward, no matter when and where the next crisis arises.

"At the same time, we clearly recognize the nation's debt crisis and found areas and programs where reductions were possible without adversely impacting our Armed Forces," Frelinghuysen said. "It is important that we make every dollar count without harming readiness or increasing the risks incurred by our troops."