December 16, 2019 / 11:32 PM / a month ago

Senate advances massive defense policy bill

FILE PHOTO: Aerial view of the United States military headquarters, the Pentagon, September 28, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Monday to advance a $738 billion defense policy bill, clearing the way for a vote on final passage on Tuesday, which will send it to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign into law.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 76-6 on a procedural motion to cut off debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA.

The Democratic-led House approved the measure by 377-48 last week.

Because it is one of the few pieces of major legislation Congress passes every year, the NDAA becomes a vehicle for a range of policy measures as well as setting everything from military pay levels to which ships or aircraft will be modernized, purchased or discontinued.

This year’s legislation included a 3.1% pay increase for the troops, the first paid family leave for all federal workers and the creation of a Space Force, a top military priority for Trump.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Chris Reese

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