House panel approves $578.6 billion for defense; OKs 2.3 percent pay raise for military

The House panel that decides defense spending has approved a $578.6 billion plan that fully funds a 2.3 percent pay raise for military men and women and prevents the retirement of the A-10 aircraft that protects ground troops.

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The spending bill released Tuesday also funds the U.S. fight against terrorism. It'll be considered Wednesday by the defense subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

The bill covers the core defense budget plus $88.4 billion for a war-fighting fund that finances military operations in Afghanistan, the Mideast and elsewhere.

The proposed bill provides money for a 2.3 percent pay raise instead of 1.3 percent as requested by the White House. It also provides money to maintain 100 percent of troop housing costs for the military.