The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bipartisan budget deal that would provide financial relief to the Defense Department over two years by increasing defense spending caps. The chamber voted 266-167 in favor of the agreement, with strong support from Democrats and defense hawks on both sides of the political aisle. The legislation would add about $112 billion in federal spending over two years -- $80 billion of which would be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget -- and raise the national debt ceiling until March 2017, according to The Associated Press. For the Defense Department, the bill would boost the spending restrictions on the base defense budget by $25 billion to $548 billion in fiscal 2016 and by $15 billion to $551 billion in fiscal 2017, according to a summary of the legislation. In addition, it would provide some $59 billion for the war budget in each of the next two fiscal years, resulting in overall defense budgets of $607 billion and $610 billion, respectively. The legislation now heads to the Senate, which is on track to pass it before Tuesday's deadline for increasing the so-called debt limit, the AP reported. --Brendan McGarry can be reached at Brendan.McGarry@military.com.
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