On Tuesday, the House overwhelmingly approved the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, a nearly $700 billion defense policy bill that would provide members of the military with the largest pay raise seen in almost a decade. The House voted 356-70 to approve, advancing the bill forward towards being signed into law.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan made the announcement on his Facebook page, asserting that the bill would soon go “to President Donald J. Trump to be signed into law.” However, as reported by the Washington Examiner, the NDAA still needs to be passed by the US Senate before it can be provided to Trump for signature.
The NDAA is expected to pass the Senate as well, allowing it to be then sent to Trump for his approval.
A release from Ryan’s Press Office stated, “It’s the primary duty of the federal government to provide for the national defense. This bill will do exactly that. It supports our military and their families, and it equips, trains, and supplies our troops.”
“The NDAA provides $634 billion for the military, including modernizing equipment and supplying new aircraft, ships, and vehicles,” according to the statement. It also “authorizes increases to the size of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard.”
The statement continues, “Not only that, but this legislation gives our service members a 2.4 percent pay raise – that’s the largest in eight years. We think our men and women in uniform deserve that.”
In closing, the press release read: “This legislation is a huge victory for our service members and, following the vote today, we look forward to it being signed by the president. Out men and women in uniform depend on it.”
The report by the Washington Examiner notes that the no clear path for funding the bill has been created. Additionally, while the NDAA can approve spending, it does not address the current $549 billion cap that would need to be lifted to support the legislation.
Currently, the military and the federal government are operating on a stopgap budget that is set to expire on December 8. To continue funding, Congress must either pass annual appropriations legislation or another stopgap continuing resolution.