Senate Passes NDAA, Sets Up Clash With House Bill

( – Lawmakers have typically cooperated to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) each year since 1961. The Senate passed its version of the bill, including some amendments, on Thursday, July 27, with bipartisan support before the August recess. Yet, the Senate version differs significantly from the House measure passed along partisan lines on July 14 with some very different amendments. The passage of the Democratic-led bipartisan Senate legislation sets the stage for a showdown with the Repulican-led House.

The Senate bill passed 86 to 11, would approve a 5.2% pay increase for military personnel in the $886 billion NDAA package. The measure also includes $9.1 billion for various technological upgrades to remain competitive against China. Additionally, the proposal would allocate $300 million for Ukraine’s defense. The House version would also approve the pay increase but only authorize $874 billion for the package.

The House NDAA proposal passed by a close margin of 219 to 210. It included several hot-button amendments, including prohibiting reimbursement of military personnel seeking gender-affirming healthcare or women’s healthcare in other states while stationed in states restricting specific procedures. Another amendment would prohibit the government from spending funds on training materials related to discrimination based on race, including critical race theory (CRT).

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) contrasted the Senate legislation process to that of the House, saying some GOP representatives were “pushing partisan legislation that [had] zero chance of passing.” He called the in-fighting a “partisan race to the bottom,” noting that the House measure passed along party lines. He noted that the contrast in how the parties might work together was glaringly different between the House and Senate.

Congress will return on September 5 after the August recess allowing members to work on state office issues. Lawmakers in both houses must work on a reconciliation of the NDAA that must pass before they break for Christmas.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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