Senate passes defense policy bill

By Tony Bertuca / July 27, 2023 at 8:28 PM

The Senate passed the annual defense policy bill this evening by a vote of 86-11.

The bill authorizes $886 billion in total national defense spending and a 5.2% military pay increase.

Now the bill advances to conference committee negotiations with the House, which only narrowly passed its version of the bill earlier this month and contained controversial rollbacks of the Pentagon’s abortion, diversity and climate-related policies sought by conservative Republicans.

The strong bipartisan Senate vote signals the coming clash with the House GOP. President Biden has not yet said whether he would veto the defense authorization bill if it contained the policy rollbacks sought by House Republicans.

The defense authorization measure isn't a spending bill, however, and doesn't actually allocate funding, which still requires the passage of a separate appropriations bill.

Meanwhile, Senate appropriators passed their version of the defense spending bill today.