Senate Panel Proposes $550 Billion in Funding

The Senate's Appropriations Defense subcommittee unanimously approved legislation that gives the Pentagon about $550 billion in defense spending and war funding.

This bill blocks several weapon system retirements or purchases that the Pentagon would forgo in the coming years to save money.

Some of the Navy-related specifics include millions of dollars to refuel the USS George Washington - which means the Navy will likely keep 11 carrier battle groups. It will also provide billions for Navy shipbuilding, fully funding the DDG-1000 and DDG-51 destroyer programs and partially funding the LPD-28 transport ships. Other Navy-related purchases include $1.3 billion for 12 Boeing E/A-18G Growler aircraft. Boeing is based in Illinois, which is the home state of the subcommittee's chairman, Richard Durban (D-IL).

The subcommittee was able to keep these weapon systems alive by proposing 517 specific cuts to programs and redirecting some of the $11.7 billion in savings to other programs.

The Senate committee also proposed buying all 34 of the Lockheed-Martin F-35 fighters requested by the White House. Whether or not this bill reaches the Senate floor is still in doubt.