Despite several roadblocks along the way, the Senate managed to pass the measure by a final tally of 89-11, Army Times reported.
The legislation, which President [Barack] Obama is expected to sign into law in coming days, drew criticism from outside military advocates for the compensation trims, but it also ensures that authorization for a host of pay and other programs will continue without interruption into 2015.
This marks the 53rd consecutive year in which Congress has passed a defense authorization bill, but this time the measure faced a bumpy passage process in a lame-duck session.
… Earlier in the week, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the measure a good compromise, even with the unpalatable compensation trims.
“These are not steps any of us want to have to take. However, the Budget Control Act of 2011 cut $1 trillion from the planned Department of Defense budget over a 10-year period,” Levin said. “Our senior military leaders told us they simply cannot meet sequestration budget levels without structural changes — canceling programs, retiring weapon systems, and reducing the growth in benefits — to reduce the size and cost of our military.”
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