Senate lawmakers will force the Defense Department to move ahead on a military retirement overhaul but will go along with DoD’s plans to trim troops’ pay and benefits.
The moves were approved as part of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s draft 2016 defense authorization bill, which came as the full House began debate on its version of the budget legislation.
The Senate committee’s bill sets guidelines for $613 billion in defense funding next year and was touted as a “reform bill” by committee chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
“This is not about how much we added or subtracted,” he told reporters Thursday. “We have to reform, or else we will lose what little confidence taxpayers have in us now.”
The Senate bill calls for sweeping reforms in defense acquisition policy and civilian personnel staffing. (A previous reported incorrectly said otherwise.) McCain said changes approved by the committee would save $10 billion in annual spending, money that would be reinvested in training and modernization accounts.