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SENATE COMMITTEE VOTES TO RAISE DEFENSE SPENDING FOR SECOND YEAR...

• https://theintercept.com, Alex Emmons

THE SENATE ARMED Services Committee advanced a major defense spending bill in a closed session this week, agreeing to the Trump administration's $750 billion request and raising U.S. defense spending to levels not seen since the height of the Iraq War.

If it passes the House and Senate, the bill would authorize the second major defense spending increase in two years. Last year, despite initial objections to President Donald Trump's proposed budget hikes, the House and Senate went far beyond what the administration had asked for, approving an almost $80 billion increase over its spending in fiscal year 2018 and bringing the total defense spending to $716 billion.

The Senate version of this year's National Defense Authorization Act would raise military and other defense spending to levels not seen since 2009, when more than 180,000 troops were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The Pentagon forecasts that in years to come, its budget requests will keep rising to levels not seen since the World War II.

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