The Defense Department’s 2019 budget is a step closer to President Trump’s desk, after the Senate approved the final version of the Pentagon’s annual budget bill 93-7 Tuesday.
The final DoD appropriations bill still needs to be approved by the House, which is in recess until Sept. 25, before Trump can sign the measure into law. The 2018 fiscal year ends Sept. 30. The House is now scheduled to meet four times before then.
The White House requested about $2 billion more for fiscal year 2019 than the roughly $675 billion compromise DoD budget would appropriate. However, the final bill would provide roughly $20 billion more than the 2018 budget.
Among other things, the DoD appropriation would boost military procurement by about $135 billion in 2019: about 1 percent more than the 2018 budget, and nearly $5 billion more than requested.
- $24 billion for the Navy’s shipbuilding account, or $2 billion above the request, for construction of 13 new ships. These include: three DDG-51 destroyers; three Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), which is two more than requested; and two Virginia-class attack submarines.
- $9.5 billion or so for 93 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the Air Force, Marines and Navy: $1.5 billion above the request for 16 more F-35s than the Pentagon sought for fiscal 2019. Half of those additional aircraft would go to the Air Force, two to the Marine Corps and six to the Navy.
- $2.3 billion for 15 KC-46 next-generation tanker aircraft, currently in development by Boeing [BA]: a little lower than the $2.5 billion the Air Force requested for 2019.
Trump had not issued a statement of administration policy — an official note about whether he will sign or veto the bill — at deadline Tuesday for Defense Daily. The 2019 DoD appropriation is part of a multi-agency appropriations package that also funds the civilian departments of Labor, and Health and Human Services.