The Democratic-led House has authorized a record-breaking $725 billion military budget for fiscal year 2011. Receiving strong bipartisan support, the bill, which includes $159 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is expected to pass in the Senate and be signed into law by President Obama. The bill also raises troop pay by 1.4%, allows children of servicemembers to stay on the military’s TRICARE health care program till age 26, and would continue to restrict the Pentagon’s ability to close Guantanamo Bay.
As one source put it, the $725 billion bill represents the “largest single military spending bill in the history of mankind“. It easily surpasses President Bush’s fiscal year 2009 budget, which ended up costing about $621 billion, $515 billion for base expenditures and $106 billion in supplemental funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.