Congress may be gridlocked on most issues, but one major bill is on a glide path for the president’s desk.
The final conference version of the annual defense authorization measure (HR 4310), which was approved Tuesday, is set for House passage on Thursday and could clear the Senate as early as Friday.
The final bill reflects a series of tough compromises on hot-button measures, including ones related to terrorism detainees, abortion and gay marriage.
On detainees, lawmakers agreed to include tough language that reflects many of the House’s provisions but makes a major concession to Democrats about the transfer of detainees.
The one provision in the House bill about which the administration had expressed veto-worthy concerns — permanently blocking the transfer of detainees from the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — was rolled back to a one-year restriction, matching provisions in the past two defense policy laws signed by President Barack Obama.
Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said Tuesday he does not believe the final bill will draw a presidential veto.
The overall bill authorizes $552.2 billion for base national defense and $88.5 billion for Overseas Contingencies Operations. It also authorizes a 1.7 percent pay increase for servicemembers.
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