Senate Delays Vote on Defense Bill

Senate Delays Vote on Defense Bill

The U.S. Senate voted to delay defense legislation that sets policy goals and spending targets for the year, just hours after approving a historic change to filibuster rules in what critics called “the nuclear option.”

The chamber on Thursday voted 51–44 against moving forward with the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. Sixty votes were needed to end debate and send the bill to a conference committee to reconcile legislative differences between House and Senate. Lawmakers then left for an 11-day Thanksgiving Day recess.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, vowed to press for passage of the bill before the end of the year, despite Republican outrage over Democrats’ decision to partially amend the centuries-old rules for filibuster so judicial appointments can be approved with a simple majority.

“Given the importance of this bill to our troops, their families, and our national security, I’m nowhere close to giving up on completing the defense authorization bill, even though we will only have days, not weeks, to complete it,” Levin said in an e-mailed statement.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the top Republican on the Senate panel, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the House panel, “are equally determined” to see passage of the defense bill, Levin said.

The legislation covers fiscal 2014, which began Oct. 1. The Defense Department and other government agencies are being funded at about the previous year’s levels under a stop-gap funding measure known as a continuing resolution. While they remain at an impasse over taxes and spending, both chambers of Congress are in talks to develop a full-year budget as part of an agreement to end last month’s 16-day government shutdown.

Republicans and Democrats have united to pass an annual defense authorization bill for more than half a century, McKeon said in an e-mailed statement.

“Time is running short to reach an agreement this year, but it has not yet run out,” he said. “There are still pathways to passage for this vital bill. We urge the Senate to resume NDAA consideration as soon as they return from their Thanksgiving recess.”

The Defense Department requested $527 billion for its base budget in fiscal 2014 and $79 billion for overseas contingency operations, including the war in Afghanistan.

The House in mid-June passed a defense authorization bill that included the base budget request and $86 billion for war funding. The Senate committee approved a version of the legislation that included the same amount for the base budget and a war budget of $81 billion.

Senators have submitted hundreds of amendments to the legislation, many in the last week, contributing to the delay. The provisions range from stripping a commanders’ authority in handling sex-assault cases to limiting funding for plans to retire the A-10 attack plane.

The Defense Department faces $500 billion in automatic cuts through fiscal 2021. That’s in addition to almost $500 billion in defense reductions already included in 2011 deficit-reduction legislation. The first installment of the across-the-board cuts totaled $37 billion and began March 1 after lawmakers were unable to reach an alternative agreement on taxes and spending. The next round totals $52 billion and is set to take effect Jan. 1.

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No money for the military, BUT, the PURGE of our military’s top officers continue, without any proof they should be released! WHAT’S UP???

Tell your Senators and Congresmen to not authorize any cuts to TRICARE, or any increases in premiums, co-pays or anything else in the National Defense Authorization Act, in regards to the military’s 2014 budget. This is not the time to balance the budget on the backs of our Veterans or Retired Military. They have done there jobs for our country and I for one being retired myself, do not believe this is the correct way to say, “THANK YOU for our service”. It still is Wartime in the Minds and Hearts of these very special citizens and their families.

I doubt the senate bill will provide anything we continue to not have a year budget just CRs. Face it we need cuts and cuts should stay most of the brass throws BIG mean planes to cut commissionaires or other good programs for family’s or vets to scare people into saving there pet projects. More politics and corruption on display and it will not go away, its sad.

I hope that these ridiculous $21,000,000,000 tax free surmised ‘housing’ allowances are zeroed out.

Singles should be expected to live in the more than adequate living spaces and quarters for the singles on their ships and bases as sailors and soldiers did for eons. And it’s beyond ridiculous that dual marrieds, most of who are already being paid in combined base pays, other pays, and other tax free allowances in the $75,000-$275,000 per year range and getting TWO monthly tax free handouts in the absurd $4,000-$6,000-$8,000 range!

This $21 BILLION per year and growing each year GRAVY TRAIN off the backs of the US taxpayers needs to be knocked off its tracks. And the sooner the better. And if any current volunteer does not like the much needed change, FINE. Then STOP RE-ENLISTING!

From a humble veteran and a prior Section Chief in the IRS’s CFO Office

You’ve GOT to be kidding, fella.

Since there are probably many active duty military on this board and veterans: good luck and I hope you aren’t cut in your pay/benefits. Sure, the entire country needs to cut a bit, and you probably will be cut as well, but I hope it won’t be draconian and huge. Cut military adventures outsize, and brac a little bit in foreign lands, before you cut in the US. Hope all gets well, and at least I am sure the VA won’t be cut, so you’ll be set there. Take good use of it.

The article mixes apples and oranges. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the “policy bill.” The National Defense Appropriations Act is the “spending bill.” The NDAA includes mainly two parts. First, changes to current laws regulating the military (like proposed changes in how military assaults are handled) and other such things. Second, an “authorization of appropriations.” This second role has become virtually worthless, and is an artifact of the Congress’ committee structure (which, like DoD’s 20% HQ overhead cut, needs a serious overall itself). The appropriations committees make the real decision on budgets. The point primarily being “who cares?” is there is no NDAA? Nothing negative will happen. Any critical policy changes can be added to the appropriations spending bill. Walla! We’ve just cut out two committees in Congress! Time to send their staffs home and save all that money.

Sorry…“if there is no NDAA?” not “is there is no NDAA?”

if the officers don’t kiss obama’s rear end , then they’re out of the armed forces

America is not a socialist country. We don’t have “special citizens” who deserve life-long welfare just because they served.

The contractors have been lobbying very long and hard to get hold of the money handed out to veterans and servicemen. Its pretty obvious that a big pay cut and reduction in benefits is coming down the road.

We have just been humiliated in two wars I doubt the average American is willing to listen to the entitlement attitudes of servicemen, about how they deserve cradle to grave care. Particularly when America has received so little in return.

Not kidding — wake up, “fella”.

With costs going up everywhere, not increasing the co-pays is kind of problematic. Its a sh** sandwich and everyone has to take a bite.

Why can’t we reward our military the same as we reward our Congressional/ Senate reps? The military faces greater risks, perform in much more difficult circumstances, and all too often give their lives and limbs for America. Let’s give them a contemporary pay scale, based upon the perceived risk and the constant relocation, and like the Congressmen, a full salary pension after serving one term. Congressmen get a very substantial allowance for maintaining a residence in, or around, D.C. Give the military the same rate of allowance for living around their base.

Instead of penalizing our troops and veterans who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, I think it’s time for the federal government to cut special political projects, generous grants to foreign countries and terminate the Compact/Impact Agreement with the Federated States of Micronesia, which is an unecessary cost of millions of dollars to our tax payers each year.

Its a matter of supply and demand. We boosted entitlements by 54% when we needed warm bodies for the surge now we need to make large cuts in numbers. So pay needs to go down to just below what Arby’s pays to discourage new enlistments.

When are you going to quit beating this drum, Mikey? Your figures and logic are no more accurate here than in other forums I have seen you post this nonsense (GovExec for example).

The name is Michael J. Smith, M.P.A. And instead of penning these mindless and rambling ‘thoughts,’ why not try penning a coherent and persuasrive defense of the status quo concerning these tax free handouts that 99% of the general US population does not know anything about?

Don’t continue to be afraid. Step up.

No but the government does provide Medicaid for life to all its welfare precipitants and they have never done anything to protect the United States all they do is bleed the United States dry cause its free and better than working

What about the Billions and Billions of dollars paid out to Section 8 housing, they money is not taxed either

The delay on the Defense Bill is due to all the amendments which are not defense related I bet. Get rid of the non defense amendments then the Bill would pass. Add non defense amendments to other big Bill like FAA, FEMA, or DHS

Cease the myth-making. Most volunteers sit behind desks, and especially so the lifers. And get off these absurd tax free off-ship and off-base ‘housing’ allowances/handouts/pseudo welfare giveaways. These are a $21 BILLION per year and growing WASTE! They ought to be zeroed out. Single volunteers –ALL OF THEM — should be living in the more than adequate living spaces/quarters on their ships and bases.

Elaborate on your perceptions there this Administration provided ‘no money for the military’ as well as your mindless and baseless rantings about “the ‘purge of ‘top’ military officers” nonsense.” Step up. Don’t continue to be afraid. And elaborate fully!

That is STUPID talk! Do you REALLY think this of for that manner any POTUS even KNOWS THE NAMES of mil volunteers outside of their inner circle. Yuu are CLUELESS! From an alumnus of the Presidential Management Fellowship Program (and a vet)!

Did you ever hear of the term APPLES AND ORANGES! the $21,000,000,000 (BILLION) per year and growintg mil housing allowances are a JOKE as well as a SLAP to the face of the Amercian taxpayers!

Many single volunteers are gettting handed upwards of $2k-$3k per month when they could and should be living in the readily available and more than adequate housing for singles on the ships and bases they are assigned as singles did for EONS until more recent years when the ENTITLEMENT culture was allowed and enabled to run amok in the all volunteer mil.

And go RIGHT AHEAD and try to defend the LUDICROUS $4,000-$6,000-$8,000, YES $8,000 a month tax free HANDOUTS being HANDED to the dual marrieds, ALMOST ALL OF WHO ARE ALREADY being paid from $75,000-$275,000 in combined base pays, other pays, and other tax free handouts.

The floor is ALL YOURS! And good luck! You’ll surely need it! Talk about and ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY!

Please spend a couple of nights aboard an LCS and tell me if you’d like to live aboard 365 days a year. How about visiting a submarine? Want to live aboard a ship during during an overhaul? How do we manage multi-crewed ships like LCS and SSBN? Your “more than adequate” living spaces are in fact not adequate. If you want an all-volunteer force, then you are going to have to provide adequate housing or the volunteers will depart rapidly. What is absurd is your assumption that housing allowances are wasted. Providing your comments in CAPITAL LETTERS does not improve the quality, accuracy, or truthfulness of your input. Please do some fact-checking. If you are an example of what we are paying for in the IRS, I can suggest a place to look for cost savings.

Where’s your rebuttal, Pug? Don’t continue to be afraid.

I was in the Navy! Plus, I worked as a Journeyman Pipefitter in the US Shipbuilding Industry for 12 years! There is NOT A THING you can ‘school’ me abourt Navy ships or subs or for that matter the ALL VOLUNTEER US MILITARY!

The unambiguous FACT OF THE MATTER is that there IS, repeat THERE IS.…THERE IS.…THERE IS more than ample and readily available living QUARTERS for siongle sailors on their ships and for singel soldiers on their bases! ANd most GO UNUSED or UNDERUSED in favor of these tax fre pseudo WELFARE HANDOUTS!

For eons, single sailors and soldiers lived in them. It has only been in recent years since the damn ENTITLEMENT CULTURE was permitted to establish itslef and perpetuate in the ALL VOLUNTEER MIL that this $21,000,000,000 tax free mon thly handout with no receiopts required GRAVY TRAIN began!

And go RIGHT AHEAD and try to defend the LUDICROUS $4,000-$6,000-$8,000, YES $8,000 a month tax free HANDOUTS being HANDED to the dual marrieds, ALMOST ALL OF WHO ARE ALREADY being paid from $75,000-$275,000 in combined base pays, other pays, and other tax free handouts.

The floor is ALL YOURS!

Again, some the basic AND INDISPUTABLE facts:

1. $21 BILLION per year wasted (Note: The US invests <1/4th this amount, or $5 billion, per year on Cancer Research at the NIH). Mull that fact over a bit.

2. These monthly handouts are tax free

3. There is no req’t to show that the tax free handouts are even being used for “housing” (Gee, I wonder how much is being pocketed and/or used to buy Mercedes Benz convertibles and other items that create lifestyles of vastly premature affluence.)

4. There IS more than adequate living spaces on their ships and MOST bases that go UNUSED or UNDERUSED if favor of the tax free handouts. (Gee, I wonder if it has to do with the FACT that the “leaders” of the ships and bases are also riding on this $21 billion per year gravy train.)

5. Single volunteers are getting handed upwards of $2,000-$3,000 per month via this absurd handouts.

(continued below)

6. These two married couples who are ALREADY being paid cumulatively $75,000-$275,000 in combined base and other pays get handed TWO of these handouts to supposedly support the housing needs of their ONE family unit to the ludicrous tune of $4,000-$6,000-$8,000 a month tax free.

7. These single volunteers — ALL OF THEM — should be expected to live on their ships and bases as single volunteers have done for EONS until more recent years after the ENTITLEMENT CULTURE has PERMEATED DOD and THE ALL VOLUNTEER MILITARY, AND ESPECIALLY SO WITH THE DESK-BASED LIFERS!

8. These dual married couples should be using their already VERY generous US taxpayer furnished combined de facto salaries of $75k-$275k to find their own housing needs and NOT feel entitled to ANOTHER TAX FREE pseudo WELFARE handout in the preposterous $4,000-$6,000-$8,000 range.

Step up all of you who are or were (or have kids) riding this tax free GRAVY TRAIN are TRY to defend the status quo! Good luck.

Michael J Smith

Housing,schooling, retirement, veterans preferance, Uncle Sam take good care of our men and women in uniform that have served and are currently serving.

Try respondig to the facts I cited about these objectively absurd monthly tax free handouts of $2,000-$3,000 for singles and $4,000-$6,000-$8,000, YES $8,000.…..$8,000.….$8,000 a month tax free for the ‘dual marrieds,’ most of who ARE ALREADY being paid from $75,000-$275,000 in combined salaries (base pays, other pays, other tax free handouts)!

The floor is all yours. Good luck. You’ll surely need it.

So where are you, old salt. Don’t continue to be afraid.

Michael, you’ve just got to switch to decaf. Please show me a DOD pay scale/table that shows where your “$2,000-$3,000 for singles and $4,000-$6,000-$8,000, YES $8,000.…..$8,000.….$8,000 a month tax free for the ‘dual marrieds,’ most of who ARE ALREADY being paid from $75,000-$275,000″ comes from. BAH for an O7 with dependents living in the DC metro area is $3174 per month (x12 = 38,088) (http://​www​.defensetravel​.dod​.mil/​s​i​t​e​/​b​a​h​C​a​l​c​.​cfm). An O7 with over 26 years of service makes $11,968 in base pay. (x12 = $143,616 per year) http://​usmilitary​.about​.com/​o​d​/​2​0​1​3​-​P​a​y​/​a​/​2​0​1​3​off.… That’s $181,704 per year, and it’s not tax free. I paid taxes all 20 years I was on active duty.

I just don’t see your numbers adding up. Please cite some sources.

And relax, please.

Michael, you’ve just got to switch to decaf. Please show me a DOD pay scale/table that shows where your “$2,000-$3,000 for singles and $4,000-$6,000-$8,000, YES $8,000.…..$8,000.….$8,000 a month tax free for the ‘dual marrieds,’ most of who ARE ALREADY being paid from $75,000-$275,000″ comes from.

[error, dropped a line]

BAH for an O7 with dependents living in the DC metro area is $3174 per month (x12 = 38,088) http:// (http://​www​.defensetravel​.dod​.mil/​s​i​t​e​/​b​a​h​C​a​l​c​.​cfm).

Salary for the same O7 with over 26 years is 11,986 (x12 = 143,832 per year, http://​usmilitary​.about​.com/​o​d​/​2​0​1​3​-​P​a​y​/​a​/​2​0​1​3​off

That’s $181,920 per year, and it’s not tax free. I paid taxes all 20 years I was on active duty.

I just don’t see your numbers adding up. Please cite some sources.

And relax, please.


Here’s a site. It has two tables — the higher ‘with dependents’ rate, and the slightly lower ‘without dependents’ rate. And they are listed by geographic location and rank.

There are many locations that are within the $2,000-$3,000 range for singles, all of who could and should be expected to live on their ships and bases in the readily available quarters for singles.

And these so-called ‘dual married’ volunteer couples get handed TWO, repeat TWO of these tax free windfalls to support ONE family unit! If they have a kid, one gets the higher “with dependents” rate. And the other gets handed the slightly lower “without dependents” rate. And if no kid, then both get the lower rate.

With a kid:
In San Francisco …are you ready.….$7,914 tax free each month for their surmised housing needs if they are O-6s. And if they are E-7s, its $6,078 It’s beyond preposterous! And it’s just as ludicrous for these “dual marrieds” in other cites as well.



In DC it’s $5,953 TAX FREE for the O-6s and $4,767 TAX FREE for the E-7s
In San Diego it’s $5,589 for the O-6s and $4,290 for the E-7s
In Honolulu it’s $7,038 for the O-6s and $4,935 for the E-7s
In Key West it’s $6,441 for the O-6s and $4,509 for the E-7s
In NYC it’s $7,947 for the O-6s and $6,495 for the E-7s

Why on God’s good Earth should the US taxpayer be on the hook for upwards of LITERALLY $7,914 per month TAX FREE to 2 married desk-based officers with a kid who are stationed in an air conditioned office the San Fran Bay area (or San Diego, or Honolulu or scores of other US cities)) in so-called ‘housing’ allowances!

And, of course, keep in mind that these TAX FREE WINDFALLS are above and beyond their already very generous basic pays of cumulatively $275,000 (for 2 married O-6s or O-5s with 25 yrs in).

Why shouldn’t these two de facto office workers use their base pay/salaries to pay for their own
housing just like the rest of the American public!

And to pro-actively address the charge that I am only using the tax free windfalls for the officers and higher ranked enlisted members, well here are some figures that speak to two married E-3s with a kid. E-3s are typically GED or HS educated and 18/19/20 years old with less than 2 years as a volunteer and the same number of years outside of their parent’s homes:

Stationed in San Francisco Bay Area:
Tax Free Monthly Windfall: $4,965
Loan Amount: $1,100,000
Monthly P&I: $4,939

Stationed in Washington, DC:
Tax Free Monthly Windfall: $3,588
Loan Amount: $800,000
Monthly P&I: $3,592

Stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii:
Tax Free Monthly Windfall: $3,852
Loan Amount: $850,000
Monthly P&I: $3,816


I spent 38 years in the Army. I guess we spent our time doing different things. Riding a desk??? I realize there is waste but don’t penalize the soldiers. Having no life of my own and losing time with my family and being sent to some of the sh@t holes of the world with little notice. My combat pay was $65.00 month. That was not much to be paid to get shot at, mortared or rocketed. It is not the soldiers that cost the money. I would look a little further to the military industrial complex that worried Ike. Look at how many uniform changes you have seen in the last 10 years. Look at rusting tanks in the desert in Texas that are only a few years old. Look at several billions in parts languishing in Washington State for MRAPS and other vehicles that are becoming obsolete. Wars are won with boots on the ground. This administration via the Pentagon were going to spend money on changing USMC hats when we do not have enough ordinance to do training. Yes there is waste. I think you have targeted the wrong people. I do not know how the Navy operates. Perhaps you do have an entire service full of REMFs. I can guarantee you that the USMC and Army do not ride desks like the Navy and USAF.

Hey Mike with all this your joining up right ? They will even show you how to shoot a gun and hide behind small objects. Hell they will even let you lead the way into combat. Hope to see you there soon. Or do you just not want to advantage of all this because you care to much.

Mike once again you seem to know so much. Stupid is if you disagree with the POTUS and it is relayed up the chain then you are done. Put the cool aid down and step back. You still believe that ACA as for the good of the people.

Yea why fund the war fighter when we can spend all our tax dollars on the poor OBLATT’s of the USA. Talk about getting so much and giving so very little back that’s the OBLATT’s of this country.

Don’t listen to the OBLATT’s and MIkeys of this world they have been DEMAFYIDE.

I am a vet. Now try responding coherently to the facts I raised and the arguments I framed. Based on what I’ve seen so far. I don’t think you are up to it. But go right ahead and try to prove me wrong. The floor is all yours. Good luck. You’ll need it.

So where’s your reasoned rebuttal, Steve? Don’t be afraid. Debating with you is akin to me brandishing a razor sharp Wilkinson sword and you with a dank twig.…Geeeesh!

Thank for your service,BillyBob. And yes, you make good and valid points as out the wastes within the military industrial complex. But your points do not take away from the facts I cite or the arguments I make about these surmised “Housing” giveaways and handouts.

When you and I were in pays were modest at best. Things have changed, BillyBob. And these housing handouts are indefensible on their very faces for the reasons I cited earlier. They are a $21,000,000,000 (that’s billion with a B) tax free gravy train that 99% of the general public doesn’t know anything about. And I am working to change that.

Our nation is I’m serious financial trouble. And DOD needs some scrutiny just like every other federal agency.

So where are you, OLDSALT?

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