The sweeping defense policy bill that locks in a 5.2% pay raise for service members next year is on its way to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature.
The House approved the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, in a 310-118 vote on Thursday. That followed the Senate's 87-13 approval of the bill the evening before.
Biden is expected to sign the bill before the end of the year, with the White House saying in a statement earlier this week that the legislation “provides the critical authorities we need to build the military required to deter future conflicts while supporting the service members and their spouses and families who carry out that mission every day.”
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Beyond endorsing the largest pay raise for troops in two decades, this year's NDAA steps on several culture war land mines — while avoiding some of the biggest ones.
After months of negotiations between House and Senate Democrats and Republicans, the bill that passed Congress dropped House GOP-drafted provisions that would have blocked the Pentagon's existing policies of covering travel for troops seeking abortions and gender-affirmation care for transgender service members.
Republicans notched some wins in the final bill on their efforts to curb Pentagon diversity programs. Namely, the bill freezes hiring for Pentagon jobs focused on…