WASHINGTON — Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said he is "very comfortable" with the priorities forming the backbones of both the House and Senate defense bills, despite some outstanding issues.

"I'm confident, based on the questions I went through with both the House and the Senate, and with Republicans and Democrats in both houses, that they all recognize we need to rebuild the military," Mattis told reporters Friday.

"How we parse that out, I'll just say the theme is consistent. I did not confront adversarial challenges that we need to downsize the military's budget or we don't have gaps in our readiness. We're working all those details out," the secretary continued. "I'm sure there are some areas of disagreement, but there are enormous areas of agreement."

Earlier in the day, the House passed its version of the NDAA, voting to support a $696.5 billion budget for the Pentagon. Of that, $621.5 billion is in base funding and $75 billion is allocated to the wartime Overseas Contingency Operations account.

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The House bill included support for the creation of a Space Corps, a new branch of the military focused on space issues. Mattis and the White House have expressed concerns over the idea, with Mattis writing that "a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations vice an integrated one we're constructing under our current approach."

Asked about the Space Corps on Friday, Mattis chuckled and said, "We'll see."

The Space Corps is one area that will be a point of contention between the Senate and House when the Senate finalizes its defense bill. The full Senate has yet to host a vote on the $700-billion NDAA passed June 28 by the Senate Armed Services Committee. Dealing with the NDAA appears to be on the backburner, however, while the Senate wrestles with health care. 

Mattis said he has been talking with various senators but indicated the issues being discussed as relatively small and that the relationship is "not adversarial at all."

"It's the kind of things that go into making sausage. It's the little pieces," Mattis said. "You just try to be as collaborative as you can, give them the information they need, tell you where you stand on it and why. … By and large, even if you give them information on some contentious issue, they are still open to it. So far, we have a very good relationship up there."

"I'm very comfortable with the priorities assigned by the House and Senate right now."