Senate approves $700 billion military bill
The Senate has approved a bill (89-8) that authorizes $700 billion in military spending, per the AP. It would allocate $640 billion to core Pentagon ops and $60 billion to wartime missions.
Some key points:
- In response to the North Korean threat, it would expand missile defense systems from 40 interceptors to 58, using $8.5 billion.
- The amendment that would have invalidated Trump's proposed ban on transgender service members did not make it in.
- It wouldn't close any military bases, as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he wanted to do.
Up next: A joint House-Senate conference over priorities and differences of opinion.