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Congress approves R&D funding boosts for defense and health

The United States Congress has increased funding for research and innovation priorities in bills covering defense, labor, health and human services, and energy.

A legislative package approved by a joint committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate on 13 September reflects Congress’s priorities for medical research and ensures the US armed forces are ready for current and future national security threats, according to a summary published by the House appropriations committee.

The 2019 defense appropriations bill allocates $674.4 billion to the Department of Defense, an increase of $17bn on 2018. Within this, $96.1bn is for research, development and testing of new defense systems and technologies, of which $94.9bn would cover base requirements—$6.6bn more than in 2018. The funding will be used to develop the F35 Joint Strike Fighter, space security and nuclear weapons modernization, among other things.

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