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Senate Resumes Debates on FY 2019 Minibus Spending Bill for Defense, Other Agencies

Senators on Monday resumed debates on amendments to a fiscal 2019 minibus spending bill that will appropriate funds for multiple federal agencies, including $675B for the Defense Department, the Washington Examiner reported.

The Senate approved two amendments to the 2019 defense bill, one of which allocates $10M to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency for the purposes of identifying U.S. servicemen among the remains repatriated from North Korea at the end of July.

Senate Armed Services Subcommittee Chairwoman Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., who sponsored the amendment, said that identifying the remains would give families of the deceased an “opportunity to gain closure and to give their loved ones the respectful, dignified remembrance that they deserve.”

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., expressed optimism that the chamber would be able to tackle more amendments in the upcoming week, while Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., warned against so-called “poison pill” amendments that have slowed down proceedings in previous years.Shelby said, however, that “[there] are reasons to believe that this year will be a different year,” adding that “[we] have a lot to do this week, but we can do it.”

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