Separately, seven Republican committee chairmen sent a letter to colleagues calling on them to oppose the Amash amendment. Meanwhile, House Republican leaders struggled to limit amendments on the overall bill, concerned about hampering national security and anti-terrorism efforts.
The defense spending bill would provide the Pentagon with $512.5 billion for weapons, personnel, aircraft and ships plus $85.8 billion for the war in Afghanistan for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
The bill is $5.1 billion below current spending and has drawn a veto threat from the White House, which argues that it would force the administration to cut education, health research and other domestic programs to boost spending for the Pentagon.
In a leap of faith, the bill assumes that Congress and the administration will resolve the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that have forced the Pentagon to furlough workers and cut back on training. The bill projects spending in the next fiscal year at $28.1 billion above the so-called sequester level.
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