Senators on Thursday advanced an $857 billion appropriations measure that includes full defense funding for fiscal 2019 and raises hopes that Congress may be able to avoid a government shutdown or short-term budget extension for Pentagon programs this fall.
The measure, which passed 85-7, includes money for the departments of defense, health and human services, labor and education. The so-called “minibus” of appropriations bills was touted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as making America “stronger overseas and right here at home.”
Of the total, $675 billion would be set aside for military spending next year, including nearly $68 billion in overseas contingency funds. The levels are in line with the recently adopted defense authorization bill and the budget deal reached by Democrats and Republicans last spring.