House passes annual defense bill
The House voted to pass the annual defense bill 363-70 on Tuesday night, authorizing nearly $770 billion in funding for defenses and national security programs.
Why it matters: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still has to clear the Senate, but the House passage greatly increases the chances that the must-pass defense bill will move through both chambers of Congress before the end of the year.
- The final bill, negotiated by Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, is expected to be taken up in the Senate next week.
What we're watching: The bill includes provisions that address how sexual assault and harassment are handled in the military.
- It removes the decision to prosecute crimes of sexual assault and related crimes from the military chain of command, but it would not remove all felonies from the chain of command.
- The bill also establishes a multi-year Afghanistan War Commission to examine the 20-year conflict and the U.S. military withdrawal.
- It also authorizes a 2.7% pay raise for military service members, provides paid parental and bereavement leave and increases aid to Ukrainian security forces by $50 million.
The final version of the NDAA does not include many of the controversial provisions that divided lawmakers.