A day before Congress is meant to adjourn, the Senate has passed a $886.3 billion Pentagon bill. Will the House rush the proposal through before the recess?

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks to the press after a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other lawmakers in Congress in Washington on Dec. 12, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Recap of the Senate Meeting

John Haughey

By John Haughey 12/13/2023

The Senate on Dec. 13 overwhelmingly passed a $886 billion defense policy bill, sending the measure to the House just a day before lawmakers recess for the Christmas break. The Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was approved by the Senate in a 87-13 vote after debate on the floor for more than seven hours.

The House is due to vote on the bill on Dec. 14, where it faces opposition by some conservatives over the removal of certain provisions targeting the Pentagon’s “woke” policies in the compromise version of the legislation. Other lawmakers have also taken issue with a provision that grants a four-month extension to controversial warrantless surveillance powers under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

“At a time of huge trouble for global security,” that makes adopting the NDAA “more important than ever,” Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said after the chamber’s vote.

“Passing the NDAA enables us to hold the line against Russia, stand firm against the Chinese Communist Party, and ensure that America’s defenses remain state of the art at all times,” he said.

Both chambers adopted their respective defense budget proposals in July. A Senate-House conference committee reconciled differences for two months before submitting a 3,093-page draft NDAA and 718-page conference report to the Senate on Dec. 6.

The Senate Armed Services Committee considered 445 amendments, with 121 adopted during the NDAA process, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “This year’s NDAA recognizes the need to strengthen America’s position and strategic competition with China through targeted improvements in critical capabilities, and long-range fires and anti-ship weapons to modernize our nuclear triad,” he said.

While lawmakers can build a defense budget that provides the resources, Mr. McConnell said, we “can’t fix the Biden administration’s weakness on the world stage by ourselves.” “We can equip a global superpower,” he continued, “but we still need a commander-in-chief who recognizes that he’s leading it.”


I have functioned as a Business and Media Consultant over the past sixteen years and spent many years developing my capacity to function in our ever evolving use of technology, communication, education and training.