Defense Authorization Act explained

Thursday - 12/9/2010, 3:37pm EST

The Senate may take a procedural vote today on the National Defense Authorization Act. The bill includes a provision that would end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and includes billions of dollars in spending, The Washington Post's Federal Eye reports.

  • A secondary engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
  • $11.6 billion dollars to train the Afghan army and Afghan police.
  • Transfer of military equipment from Iraq to Afghanistan.

Smaller items could be critical to troops, including:

  • More funding for the Defense Department to hire mental health providers.
  • Money to screen every service member for the effects of traumatic brain injury.
  • The bill also would provide more funding and guidance for a seamless transfer of service member's medical records.

The Federal Eye reports if the procedural vote in the Senate fails today, a defense bill probably won't be approved this year. Officials with a veterans support group told the Federal Eye that if the measure fails, it would be the first time in 48 years that an authorization bill has not passed Congress.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.