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Republicans want to give the military a raise

A US army soldiers of the second Squadron 28th Cavalry Regiment (2-38th) part of the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo jump with parachutes during a US military drill near the town of Gjakova on May 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ARMEND NIMANI ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images

House Republicans on Thursday introduced legislation on Thursday that would give members of the U.S. Armed Forces a 1.8 percent pay raise.

The House Defense Department spending bill for fiscal year 2015 offers $491 billion in discretionary funding, up $4.1 billion compared to the current fiscal year. The House bill also spends $200 million more than what President Barack Obama requested in his budget.

Under a new House spending bill, members of the U.S. Armed Forces would get a 1.8 percent raise. AFP PHOTO / ARMEND NIMANI

The total funding number includes $128.1 billion to provide for 1,308,600 active duty troops, and 820,800 Guard and reservists. That's a drop of nearly $669 million compared to fiscal year 2014, but it's still enough to allow for a raise for the troops in part because of force reductions.

The Obama administration had sought a 1 percent raise for the troops, but the House bill would nearly double that request.

The legislation also includes $31.6 billion in funding for defense health and military family programs, which provide care for troops, families and retirees. That's a $1.1 billion decrease from fiscal year 2014, but the House Appropriations Committee says it's "sufficient" to meet these demands.

Within that section, the bill offers $246 million for cancer research, $150 million for medical facility upgrades, and $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research.

House appropriators said the bill strikes the right balance between fiscal responsibility and ensuring the nation's security.

"Our first priority as a nation must be our national security and the protection of American interests at home and abroad," said Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.).

"This bill provides critical funding for the security of all Americans, the success of our military missions and the fight against terrorism around the globe, and the safety and well-being of our troops who are bravely serving this country."

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