The Senate today authorized a defense bill providing $506.9 billion for Pentagon programs and $189.4 billion in funding for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars—but no timetables on troop withdrawals, which brought vetoes on earlier efforts. The bill, approved 90-3 by the Senate, expands the army by 13,000 and enhances veterans care programs, with special regard to brain injuries and psychological disorders.
The bill would not fund the war past February, and Senate Republicans are expected to push for $70 billion in appropriations legislation to continue well into 2008—another bill Democrats are expected to fight but eventually support. Today’s measure also authorized $10 billion for European missile defense, but ties the project to parliamentary approval by the countries involved. (Read more Iraq stories.)