The House and the Senate both passed stripped-down versions of defense appropriations yesterday, uncharacteristically unladen with controversial, often non-defense related provisions.
According to Government Executive, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that they worked to remove all language that concerned any member in a bid to pass the legislation before Congress took off for the holidays.
The just-the-basics-appropriations bill puts a cap to a months-long effort to pass spending authorizations for the Defense Department. Previous efforts, earlier this fall, were bogged down by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” provisions attached to the bills.
However, last week, Congress passed a separate, standalone version of DADT, freeing the appropriations committee of one of the toughest political battles.
Levin and McCain said Tuesday that even after cutting out some of the more controversial add-ons, the appropriations bill still contained the most important provisions for DoD and American troops.
“There are provisions of policy, of training equipment, and readiness that cannot be just done by money, and these are important policy decisions, important authorizations, including pay raises,” McCain said, according to GovExec.