Lawmakers agree on $5 billion cut to defense bill


WASHINGTON (AP) – Republicans and Democrats announced agreement Tuesday on a revised version of the massive defense policy bill to align it with the new budget agreement the president has signed into law.

President Barack Obama had vetoed the $612 billion defense authorization bill over a larger dispute over government spending.

But that dispute was resolved and Obama on Monday signed a bipartisan budget bill that avoids a catastrophic U.S. default and puts off the next round of fighting over federal spending and debt until after next year’s presidential and congressional elections.

The leaders of the Senate and House Armed Services committees announced that they had agreed on how to trim $5 billion from the original bill to bring it in line with the budget agreement at a total of $607 billion

Among the adjustments were $230,000 for the next-generation bomber to replace the aging bomber fleet – money that the Pentagon wasn’t going to spend anyway because it took longer than expected to sign the contract to build it; $1 billion saved because of lower-than-anticipated oil prices; and $442 million in readiness funds for the Army and National Guard.

The House is scheduled to vote on the new version this week and the Senate will likely follow.

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