The US Senate has approved a $700 billion budget bill for the Pentagon, higher than what it had during the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
With 89 votes in favour and eight against, the Senate on Monday approved the budget project which plans to allocate about $8.5 billion to anti-missile defence systems, amid the escalation of tensions with North Korea, reports Efe news.
The budget foresees spending of $640 billion to maintain the Pentagon’s structure (buying weapons and salaries), and the remaining $60 billion to military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other places.
The senators excluded a plan proposed by Pentagon Chief General James Mattis to close several military bases and invest some $10 billion in nuclear submarines or warplanes.
This budget bill represents a significant rise over the $619 billion of the current fiscal year and is also slightly higher than the $670 billion that the government of President Donald Trump requested from Congress.
The Senate will now have to reconcile its budget bill with a similar one approved by the lower house a few weeks ago, before it can enter into force on October 1, the first day of the 2018 financial year.