The second of two major defense budget bills has been okayed by the House Appropriations Committee, providing $706 billion in funds for the Pentagon for fiscal year 2022. The bill includes plans for closing the Guantanamo Bay prison and ending the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force (AUMF).
The House committee approved the bill on a party-line vote of 33-23, overriding the objections by Republicans that the bill’s 1.4% increase was too small. However, Democrats said they disapproved of the large spending bill and only advanced it to submit it to a wider debate in the full House chamber.
The appropriations bill is one of two bills that comprise the National Defense Authorization Act, with the other being the authorization bill, which sets the spending priorities. The NDAA is expected to be heard by the committee on July 21.
The bill includes several important amendments added by the committee, including two ending the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, which Congress created to authorize both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as military operations in undeclared war zones if they were against al-Qaeda or forces aligned with the terrorist group, such as the Somali group al-Shabaab.
The bill also says its funds cannot be used to operate the Guantanamo Bay detention center after September 30, 2022, or to “support or facilitate offensive military operations conducted by the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in the war in Yemen.”