Senate overwhelmingly approves defense bill, tees up standoff with lower chamber
The House passed its own version earlier in July by a 219-210 vote.
The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a defense policy bill that will likely foster a conflict with the House, which has passed a separate measure to fund the Pentagon and set its policy for the year.
The upper chamber approved its version of the National Defense Authorization Act by an 86 to 11 vote, CNN reported. The bill includes $886 billion in defense spending, which will also fund a 5.2% pay increase for military servicemembers.
The House passed its own version earlier in July by a 219-210 vote. That plan included a number of amendments from conservative lawmakers that may prove difficult to push through negotiations with the Senate.
One such provision would end the Pentagon's policy of funding leave and out-of-state travel for servicemembers seeking to obtain abortions.
Michigan Democratic Sen. Gary Petters told CNN that reconciling the two versions of the NDAA was "going to take some work."
"[W]e just hope that we would focus on actual issues related to national defense and not have to deal with all the extraneous things," he added.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.