Budget deal offers stability to Pentagon spending

By By DONNA CASSATA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Working-age military retirees would see fewer dollars in their federal pensions and the Pentagon would get some long-sought stability in spending under Congress' budget deal.

The agreement eases some of the pain of the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that senior military leaders and Congress' defense experts have railed against for months. It reverses a $20 billion financial hit that the Pentagon faced next month, although the robust military spending through wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is clearly over.

Under the deal, defense spending in the current fiscal year would be capped at $520.5 billion, up from the current level of $498.1 billion.

Defense leaders and members of Congress' military panels welcomed the certainty promised in the deal, even though numbers weren't exactly what they wanted.

A House vote is likely Thursday.

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