House passes defense spending bill

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Pay raises, furlough elimination possible

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 10:46pm

After the Dept. of Defense's budget was slashed under sequestration this year, there is hope for spending to normalize next year.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2014 Thursday, which would return $26 billion to the Defense Dept.

H.R. 2397 passed by a 315-109 vote, with Congressman Beto O'Rourke voting in favor of the resolution.

"I voted yes because the legislation would provide the resources that our armed forces, including the men and women who serve at Fort Bliss, need to keep our nation safe," said O'Rourke on his Facebook page.

That $26 billion would include a 1.8 percent pay raise for the military, and prevent civilian employee furloughs.

As Local 4 News has reported, currently 11,000 employees at Fort Bliss are undergoing 11 furlough days this year, or roughly 20 percent of their pay.

The resolution now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval.

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