In a 85-13 vote today, the US Senate passed its $602 billion military spending bill, setting the stage for what will likely be an intense committee battle to reconcile it with the already passed House version. Unlike the House version, which removed the proposal, the Senate’s version included a provision requiring women to register for the military draft.
As with the House version, this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) hides a good chunk of the year’s war funding to give the appearance of a spending “cut.” The bill actually only covers the first four months of 2017’s war spending, with an assumption that an “emergency” bill will be sought after the election.
The Senate bill left a lot of questions unanswered, as fighting within the Republican majority blocked the debate and votes on virtually all the controversial matters. This centered on Sen. Mike Lee (R – UT) seeking debate on the indefinite detention of US citizens.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC) insisted the debate on Lee’s issue couldn’t be allowed, and Lee threatened to block everything else if the detentions weren’t up for debate. This was resolved by Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) angrily condemning Lee and no debates happening. The Senate appeared not to care all that much, and passed the bill by a huge margin anyhow.