Work continues in Congress on putting together the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for next year. U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo. 6th District, is one of the negotiators for the House. He said the two chambers are not that far apart.

“There (are) some funding differences between the two bills but we should be able to get all of those worked out,” he told Missourinet.

Graves said the final version, so far, would save American taxpayers about $40 billion.

“Basically it was just duplicative programs that (have) gone through the appropriations process,” he said. “We’ve gone through and we just eliminate a lot of those programs that are simply not used anymore or are duplicates of other programs within the Defense Department.”

There’s no word on whether any of those $40 billion in cuts would affect Missouri, but Graves said the Show-Me State will see a lot of defense dollars coming its way.

“Whether that’s dealing with Fort Leonard Wood or Whiteman Air Force Base or our C-130, the 139th Airlift Wing in St. Joe, the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant which is in my district in Independence, and F-15 and F-18’s which are obviously produced in in St. Louis,” Graves said.

He also said their goal is to pass a final version of the defense bill and get it to President Biden by the end of the year.

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