In an 89-8 vote, the Senate today overwhelmingly passed their version of the National Defense Authorization Act, a $700 billion military spending bill for the year. The bill still needs to be reconciled with the House version before it goes to the White House for signature.
The bill is more than the Pentagon requested, and more than the large spending increase the White House requested. At present both the House and Senate seem to be competing to see who can outspend the other with their version of the bill, while rejecting all cuts proposed by the Pentagon to keep the budget in line.
It was this massive increase that had the normally hawkish Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) as a surprise no vote on the bill. Corker said the bill blows through budget caps, and he also objected continuing to put money into “Overseas Contingency Operations” budget, where it can be shifted around at will, saying that fund has been repeatedly abused.
Though President Trump has publicly objected to several aspects of the NDAA, including the “premature” increase in spending on missile defense, there are no signs a veto is being considered, and he is expected to sign whatever Congress ultimately puts in front of him.