Congressional panel approves defense spending freeze - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Congressional panel approves defense spending freeze

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a $513 billion bill that freezes defense spending at this year's amount.

The vote was 30-0 on Thursday.  The bill represents a cut of $26 billion from President Barack Obama's request for the Pentagon in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.  The bill is $17 billion less than what the House approved, so lawmakers will have to work out the difference.

In addition to the overall bill, the measure also would provide nearly $118 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Facing budget pressures, the bill trims nearly 600 programs, taking a significant chunk of $695 million from the troubled Joint Strike Fighter aircraft program.

The bill would also provide for a 1.6 percent pay raise for military personnel.

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