By a 22-8 vote, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $594.2 billion Pentagon defense spending bill Thursday. The bill is not yet law; it requires a vote by the full Senate, the House of Representatives, and a signature by the President before that can happen.
As currently written, the bill would fund the Pentagon with a $516.4 billion "base" level budget, plus an additional $77.8 billion to fund Overseas Contingency Operations (meaning primarily, Afghanistan).
Among other terms, the bill:
- Adds $227 million to funding for Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines being built by Huntington Ingalls (NYSE:HII) and General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers built by General Dynamics.
- Fully funds planned 2014 purchases of F-35 stealth fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), but reduces planned funding preparatory to building planes for 2015.
- Maintains funding of Boeing (NYSE:BA) Chinook and Apache helicopters and Poseidon sub-hunting aircraft, Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, Northrop Grumman's (NYSE:NOC) Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft, and the Boeing/Textron-built Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.
Funds were also found to continue development work on a new Long Range Strike Bomber, a new aerial refueling plane for the Air Force, electronic warfare craft, and military "drone" aircraft. Additionally, the bill will provide $173 million to help the Israeli military develop Arrow and David's Sling missile defense systems.
Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Dynamics, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Textron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.