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Defense Authorization Bill Clears Senate Committee

On May 12, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved, 23-3, S. 2814, the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The Personnel Subcommittee approved its portion of the bill on May 10. The House Armed Services Committee approved its version of the bill, H.R. 4909, on April 27 (see The Source, 4/29/16).

According to the committee summary, the bill would authorize $543 billion in FY2017 for programs at the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Energy and $59 billion in overseas contingency operations for a total of $602 billion in discretionary funds. The total includes $134 billion for military personnel and $33.5 billion for the Defense Health Program. Local education agencies (LEAs) impacted by the disproportionate enrollment in their schools of children of service members or civilian DoD employees would receive $25 million; $5 million would be provided to such LEAs that also teach children with severe disabilities.

The bill would require women to register for the draft beginning in January 2018 and would provide paid leave to caregivers during the birth or adoption of a child.

The measure contains several provisions to address sexual assault and domestic violence. Among other provisions, the bill would require DoD to include incidents of domestic violence in its annual report on military sexual assault.

More details will be provided once the committee releases its report.

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