By Jon Reid
December 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm ET
The House on Friday voted 375-34 to pass a $619 billion defense policy bill that authorizes increased funding for U.S. war efforts in the Middle East and seeks to boost military readiness.
The authorized spending in the bill is $9 billion more than President Barack Obama’s request. The measure includes a funding increase of $5.8 billion for military operations against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and terrorist groups in Afghanistan. It also adds another $3.2 billion in spending to boost military readiness abroad. U.S. military personnel would also get a 2.1 percent pay raise.
The legislation, which authorizes funding for national defense, is a compromise between the House and Senate measures. As a result, a provision in the Senate version that would require women to register for the draft was not included in the final measure. Also stripped from the final bill is a House provision that Senate Democrats say would allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. A similar debate over LGBT rights wreaked havoc on the House’s appropriations process in May, prompting GOP leaders to change the rules for offering amendments to spending bills.
The Senate will likely take up the legislation next week before lawmakers adjourn for the year.
As of Wednesday, the day the compromise was announced, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration was not ready to take a position on the bill.