The Senate voted Tuesday to pass a $9 billion defense bill, as lawmakers continue to grapple with the nation’s fiscal challenges amid widespread protests.
The House, meanwhile, is considering an overhaul of the nation�s military budget that would slash funding for defense spending and make cuts to programs for veterans and immigrants.
The Senate approved the legislation, which now heads to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.
It will be the first defense package to pass the House since Trump announced his candidacy in May.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Addison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell GOP leaning toward Arizona senators for Kavanaugh Senate eyes Kavanaugh floor vote next week Trump blasts Sessions for lying under oath MORE (R-Ky.) has called the legislation �a bipartisan effort to ensure our troops are ready for the future, while preserving vital programs to make sure our military continues to be effective and effective across our country.�The House passed the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 last month, but the Senate has not yet passed the bill.
The bill provides $3.1 trillion in funding for the military, $600 billion in aid for veterans, $1.5 trillion for immigration and border security, $400 billion for the Department of Homeland Security and $250 billion for Medicare and Medicaid.
The legislation also provides $5 billion for a national security research and development center, a $250 million to assist military spouses in seeking benefits for domestic violence, and $500 million for the National Institutes of Health.
The bills also would provide $1 billion to combat cyber-enabled threats and provide $2 billion for infrastructure improvements and training.
Senate Democrats and Republicans have been sparring over military spending and Trump�s budget proposals, which have divided the two parties.
In addition to the House and Senate bills, there are several other defense bills being considered in the Senate.
The House is considering a $1 trillion bill that would help the military with its cybersecurity efforts.
The Senate is considering another $1 million bill to assist with the rebuilding of the Navy.
The defense bills are not expected to be voted on in the House or the Senate before the end of the month.