The 2013 Defense bill has been approved by the Senate with a unanimous vote of 98-0. The bill kept intact the increases that many service members have been closely monitoring including military pay raises. The proposed rate increases are 1.7% for military pay, 4.3% for BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) and 3.4% BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence).
Next steps for final approval include reconciling the differences between the House and Senate approved versions of the bill and the President’s signature. Both Houses have expressed confidence that the differences can be reconciled and more importantly as it relates to military compensation increases both Houses approved the increases.
It is expected as the bill currently stands the President will not approve it mainly due to total budget amount that was approved is $17 billion more than President Obama was seeking. Other objections include restrictions on funds to transfer detainees at Guantanamo Bay and proposed trimming of civilian and contract workers by 5% through 2017.
Amidst the looming sequestration cuts and the seemingly insurmountable differences between Republicans and Democrats it’s a positive sign that the Senate unanimously approved the fiscal year 2013 Defense Authorization Bill.