An abandoned house is seen in the Medina Annex at Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland in San Antonio, Texas U.S. November 16, 2019. (Reuters/Callaghan O'Hare)

(Reuters) - Congress on Tuesday approved the largest overhaul to the American military's housing program in more than two decades, vowing to end slum-like living conditions and hold private landlords and defense officials accountable for them.

The reforms, included in the yearly National Defense Authorization Act, aim to protect some 200,000 military families living on U.S. bases from health hazards including mold, lead, asbestos and pest infestations. The problems have been detailed by Reuters since last year in a series of investigations, Ambushed at Home.

The congressional action was prompted by the Reuters reports and a growing chorus of complaints from military families who joined forces to decry substandard living conditions.

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(Glow Images via Associated Press_

Average pay, housing and subsistence allowances will increase for members of the military in 2020, the Pentagon announced Thursday.

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Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Byron Foster takes clean silverware from the scullery to the chow line aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) January 24, 2012 (Navy photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Dean Cates)

WASHINGTON – A $738 billion defense bill agreed to by House and Senate negotiators Monday night contains a provision that will boost a small Upstate New York company that serves as America's last flatware maker, according to Rep. Anthony Brindisi.

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2020 includes Brindisi's amendment requiring the military to buy American-made eating utensils for its installations around the world.

Sherrill Manufacturing in Oneida County is the only U.S. manufacturer that makes and sources 100 percent of its flatware domestically.

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The Air Force is currently in the middle of a major precision guided munitions shortage stretching back nearly four years — and according to the service's top general, budget jousting in Congress could prove "truly damaging" to the Pentagon's ability to fix the problem.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Department of Defense has a "handshake" agreement with Lockheed Martin Co to cut 8.8 percent from the price of its latest order of F-35A fighter jet, shaving a year from the time frame in which each aircraft will cost less than $80 million, a Pentagon official said on Monday.

The Pentagon said over three years the agreement will be worth $34 billion for 478 F-35 fighter jets. It is preliminary and a final deal is expected to be sealed in August for the 12th batch of jets, one of the most expensive aircraft ever produced.

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.S. Army Spc. Jonathan Pampell, a military intelligence mentor to the Afghan National Army (ANA), with the 319th Military Intelligence Battalion, walks past a group of wild dogs while on a patrol near Forward Operating Base Lightning, Paktya province, Afghanistan, Feb. 20, 2013. (U.S. Army/ Sgt. Aaron Ricca)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Pentagon has requested $22.95 billion for highly-classified military intelligence activities in fiscal year 2020, an increase of $2.25 billion over the previous year, the Defense Department said in a two-line statement Monday.

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