On Monday, the Senate voted 89-8 to overwhelmingly pass their version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Senate version authorizes $700 billion in total –– $640 billion for the Pentagon’s base budget, and $60 billion to sustain ongoing operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Included in the Senate version is a 2.1 percent pay increase for service members; $8.5 billion to strengthen missile defense; 24 additional F-35 joint strike fighters; 10 additional Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets; five more Navy ships; and end-strength increases of 6,000 soldiers and 1,000 Marines. In light of this, the Senate version still includes TRICARE fee increases, which the VFW strongly opposes, and is $83 billion above authorized budget caps for military spending. The House and Senate will meet next week to resolve any differences between their versions of the bill. Stay tuned to the Action Corps Weekly for updates on this important bill.