Defense bill aims to address sexual assault crisis

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Associated Press

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 13 at 6:00 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A defense policy bill that aims to deal with the epidemic of sexual assaults in the military is heading to the Senate, where it could get slowed by Republican outrage over majority Democrats' limits on GOP power.

The House passed the legislation Thursday. The strong bipartisan vote there puts pressure on the Senate to back the legislation without changes even though Senate Republicans are furious about their inability to offer any amendments to the massive bill.

The bill would authorize $552.1 billion for the regular budget plus $80.7 billion for conflicts overseas in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The bill would provide a 1 percent salary increase for military personnel, keep construction going on bases and an aircraft carrier in Virginia and cover combat pay for war-fighters.

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