House expected to vote to fund armed forces — with days to spare

WASHINGTON — The House is expected to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act today.

The bill is a bi-partisan House/Senate compromise that earmarks $738 billion for America’s armed forces.

It includes funds to create the “Space Force,” and gets rid of the so-called “widow’s tax” that has been a goal of military families for years.

The act has been renewed every year for 58 consecutive years and after months of negotiations, New Mexico Democrat Martin Heinrich says Congress finally agreed just days before the current bill expires.

“I was fearful that we weren’t going to get it done this year,” says Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe.

The bill gives the military a 3.1% pay raise, sets aside $5 billion for emergency disaster recovery, and formally establishes the “Space Force” as sixth branch of the military.

Texas Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett says he is confident it will pass before the end of the year, saying, “I believe it will become law. It is a bipartisan measure.”

But if it doesn’t, Inhofe says our national security could be in harm’s way.