The House of Representatives approved a much-debated defense spending bill on Wednesday night that could have a significant impact on the Pentagon's operations in 2014. The $598.3 billion bill is around $3 billion less than the White House requested, and includes some provisions that could make it easier for the Department of Defense to survive the sequester-related cuts that may come next year, FOX News reported.
More than $512 billion of the bill's funding will go toward non-war spending, which includes about $580 million for the expected pay raise for active duty personnel. The budget also includes about $85.8 billion for war operations in Afghanistan next year. American troops are expected to be out of the country by the end of 2014.
Whether the budget is implemented remains to be seen, as it still needs to pass the Senate, where it may face an uphill battle. Additionally, President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill if there is no action taken to increase TRICARE fees.
"The Administration is disappointed that the Committee has consistently failed to support requested TRICARE fee initiatives that seek to control DOD's spiraling health care costs while keeping retired beneficiaries' share of these costs well below the levels experienced when the TRICARE program was implemented in the mid-1990s," The White House said in a press release.