Senate Backs Defense Bill With 1 Percent Pay Raise for Troops

Defense Department file photo

The Senate on Thursday approved legislation that ensures troops will receive a 1 percent pay in 2014, moving the measure to the White House, where it is expected to swiftly receive President Obama’s signature.

The 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes a range of military spending, received Obama’s endorsement Thursday. The president commended Congress for its bipartisan work to pass the legislation before the end of the year.

“The bill will, among other things, assist the armed forces in operating in unconventional and irregular warfare and countering unconventional threats, support capacity building efforts with foreign military forces, and support contingency or stability operations,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. Carney praised specific compromises in the legislation, including flexibility to transfer detainees currently held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to other military stations abroad and strengthened protections for victims of sexual assault.

With the Defense Department’s authority to offer different types of incentive pay and bonuses to current and prospective military members set to expire on Dec. 31, lawmakers scrambled to come up with a plan to fast-track the legislation. The leaders of the Senate and House Armed Services committees earlier this month agreed to pass identical bills authorizing fiscal 2014 funds for the department to expedite the legislative process.

On Thursday, however, Republicans denied Democrats the ability to expedite the bill’s passage, citing the majority party’s recent abolition of the 60-vote threshold needed to confirm executive branch nominees. This required the Senate to wait 30 hours after it voted to end debate on Wednesday for a final vote, meaning the final vote did not occur until after 11 p.m. Thursday night. Ultimately, the billed passed easily on an 84-15 vote.

The legislation also extends the department’s authority to provide special pay and bonuses to troops, including housing allowances, combat pay, enlistment and re-enlistment bonuses, and incentives for foreign language skills. It authorizes $552.1 billion in spending for national defense in fiscal 2014, and an additional $80.7 billion for overseas contingency operations.

The House overwhelmingly passed the bill last week before heading home for the year.

Kellie Lunney contributed to this report.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.