OAN’s Roy Francis
8:42 AM – Friday, July 28, 2023
The Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Thursday marking the beginning of a looming effort to find a compromise which satisfies both the Democrat Senate and the Republican House.
The bill, which was passed by the Senate by a vote of 86-11, authorizes $886 billion for fiscal year 2024. The total which the bill authorizes was included in the debt ceiling deal that was agreed to between the Biden administration and the House.
The Senate NDAA also includes a 5.2 percent pay increase for military members, $9.1 billion dedicated for the United States’ competitiveness with China, and $300 million reserved for Ukraine.
Along with those provisions, the bill also chips away at the resources that were authorized for the Pentagon’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) measures. The Senate’s version of the bill also extends the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) through 2027. The USAI is the program through which the Pentagon provides Ukraine with its aid packages.
The Senate’s version of the NDAA was passed a little over a week after the Senate had begun considering and amending the bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that he wanted to move the process as quickly as possible in a bipartisan fashion.
“We’ve had an open and constructive amendment process for the NDAA,” Schumer said on Thursday. “With both sides … working together in good faith. This is exactly how the process for the NDAA should look: bipartisan [and] cooperative.”
Schumer also attacked the Republican House saying that they should look to the Senate “to see how things get done.”
“What’s happening in the Senate is a stark contrast to the partisan race to the bottom we saw in the House,” Schumer said, noting that many of the items they included have little chance of being included in a final version later this year. “House Republicans should look to the Senate to see how things get done. … They are throwing on the floor partisan legislation that has no chance of passing. The contrast is glaring.”
In the coming months, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Shumer will face a major challenge as both the Senate and the House will attempt to reconcile both proposals that were passed in order to pass an overall NDAA package which can be passed through the Senate with the required 60 votes.
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