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Search Tags: 2013 NDAA
The Senate approved a $631 billion annual defense policy Tuesday that would require the Defense Department to reduce its civilian workforce by 5 percent over the next five years and impose a strict cap on government-funded contractor salaries. With the White House threatening to veto the Senate version its current form, the bill now heads to a House-Senate conference committee where differences between the two chambers' bill will be hammered out.
Congress has cleared the way for a $633 billion defense policy bill that includes mandated reductions to the Defense Department's civilian and contractor workforces. Leaders of a House-Senate conference committee, tasked with reconciling competing versions of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, included in the final report the automatic workforce reductions that opponents say would result in about 36,000 job losses.
The Senate moved forward with a plan to require the Defense Department to reduce its civilian workforce by 5 percent over the next five years, after a measure striking that provision was defeated in a vote Friday. Earlier this week, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced an amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which would lift a mandated 5 percent reduction to DoD's civilian and contractor workforces over five years. But in a 53-41 vote, Cardin's amendment was defeated.
The White House is threatening to veto the $631 billion annual Defense bill the Senate is debating this week unless Congress makes changes. The administration took issue with a number of provisions included in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Bill, which Senate leaders hope to vote on by the end of the week.
The Senate unanimously approved a measure requiring the Veterans Affairs Department to work more closely with state agencies to reduce a longstanding and growing backlog of disability claims. The measure, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) was included as an amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
The Senate on Wednesday gave the green light to the Pentagon's investment in green energy. By a vote of 62-37 on Wednesday, the Senate backed an amendment that would delete a provision in the defense bill prohibiting the military from spending money on alternative fuels if the cost exceeded traditional fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil. The Pentagon has opposed the provision that a sharply divided Senate Armed Services Committee added in May.