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Lawmakers Fast-Track 2014 Defense Spending Bill; Carl Levin Comments

Capitol_BuildingSenate and House lawmakers have expedited their consideration of a bill authorizing $607 billion in defense spending for fiscal 2014, Defense News reported Monday.

Paul McLeary writes a bicameral panel of Congress’ Armed Services Committee members sought to reach a compromise for the 2014 defense authorization bill on Monday and aims to pass the measure before the holiday recess.

“There will be a real chasm if we don’t do this, this year,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) told fellow lawmakers.

Lawmakers were considering amendments to address sexual assault issues in the military, build infrastructures in Afghanistan and fund nuclear aircraft carriers and bombers, McLeary reports.

Defense News reports the Pentagon will run out of funds to support combat pays, reenlistment bonuses and military construction projects in January without the bill.

“What kind of an impression are we giving to our men and women who are in harm’s way when combat pay stops?,” Levin added, according to the report.

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