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US Congress Approves $700 Billion Defense Budget With 2.4% Military Pay Rise

The funding is to increase troop numbers and facilitate the purchase of 90 F-35 fighter jets and more ships.

U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler

Members of the US House and Senate negotiators have backed President Donald Trump's call to boost military investment, approving plans to increase defense spending to $700 billion (£532 billion) for the 2018 fiscal year.

The funding is to increase troop numbers and facilitate the purchase of 90 F-35 fighter jets and more ships.

Serving troops will also receive a 2.4% pay raise.

US Marines Syria
US Marines on Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria

It is a significant increase on the $603 billion spending originally requested by Trump back in May.

Details are scheduled to be made public later, but congressional staff members say the bill allots just over 634 billion dollars (£481 billion) for core Pentagon operations and nearly 66 billion dollars (£50.1 billion) for wartime missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

To become law the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, must be passed by both the House and Senate and signed into law by Trump. The bill, one of the few pieces of legislation that gets through Congress every year, has passed every year since 1961.

USS Carl Vinson Aircraft Carrier
Flight operations on board USS Carl Vinson preparing for deployment

In addition to more active-duty troops, the spending plan incorporates additional money recently requested for missile defense

Trump wants the military budget increase to be paid for by slashing non-defense spending.

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