House votes to increase US-India military cooperation

The two officials will have 180 days from day one of the NDAA's enactment to do so.
By Linda Mack | Jul 18, 2017
More U.S. defense funds will go toward cooperation between the U.S. and Indian armed forces, following the House of Representatives' approval Friday of an amendment for increasing India-U.S. defense cooperation by Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.). The amendment made it into the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2018, an annual bill that allocates all Congressionally approved defense funds, before the House passed the complete bill by a 344-81 margin.
"The United States is the world's oldest democracy and India is the world's largest democracy. It is vitally important to develop a strategy that advances defense cooperation between our two nations," Bera said.
The next step on the India-U.S. defense amendment will be for the Secretary of Defense to consult with the Secretary of State and develop a strategy for advancing nation-to-nation cooperation. The two officials will have 180 days from day one of the NDAA's enactment to do so.
That day has not arrived yet. The Senate must take up and approve the NDAA and then forward it to the White House for Trump's signature.
The NDAA 2018 bill got the votes of all but eight House Republicans and 73 Democrats. It commits a grand total of $621 in federal revenues to defense, an amount that surpasses the $603 billion that President Trump had requested.
However, the bill may require further action before it can go forward. It exceeds by $72 billion the $549 billion cap on defense spending that the 2011 Budget Control Act had put in place. Lawmakers must either increase the budget caps or repeal them.


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