President Donald Trump signed the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act into law Tuesday.
“This historic legislation demonstrates our unwavering commitment to our men and women in uniform,” Trump said at a White House signing ceremony. “The greatest fighting force in the history of the world. And we’re making it a lot better than even that.”
The law authorizes nearly $700 billion for the military, about $150 billion above the spending cap established by the Budget Control Act of 2011. (Of the amount authorized, $65 billion is allocated for “Overseas Contingency Operations,” a fund Congress created to be exempt from the cap.)
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan praised the bill’s inclusion of more money for missile defense, including $200 million for a new missile field at Fort Greely, near Fairbanks, and 20 new interceptors that would be housed there.
Sullivan is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, one of the committees responsible for drafting the annual authorization bill.
The new law sets policy, and even though it includes dollar figures, it does not guarantee funding.
Consulting firm Avascent Analytics research director Matt Vallone said the authorizing law is more of an opening bid in the yearly debate about how much to spend on defense.
Vallone said the members of the appropriations committees usually aim for a lower number.
“Appropriators are the ones who make the final decision on what spending is going to be, and they’re the ones who will have final say when they pass an appropriations omnibus either later this month or more likely sometime in January,” Vallone said.
Vallone expects the final spending bill will be a few billion less than what the law authorizes. But with the North Korean threat looming, Vallone also expects Congress will approve increased spending on missile defense.
- It would cost a lot more to pay the full amount under the formula – $840 million.
- the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said about 22 contaminated sites still need to be cleaned up in the Ketchikan-Gateway Borough.
- The company’s owner, Kunniak Hopson, moved to Chugiak 11 years ago from Utqiaġvik, which she calls Barrow. When she was growing up, her family always put McCormick’s Salt ‘n Spice on maktak, which is frozen whale blubber and skin. But McCormick’s stopped making it and she had to find an alternative.
- A set of massive whale bones rests on the bottom of the Newport, Oregon, bay. Scientists from Oregon State University put them there with a plan for a future display on shore. But they’re having trouble finding the money to retrieve the rare blue whale skeleton from beneath the waves.