National Defense Authorization Act

Senate presses ahead on defense bill despite divisions

The Senate is heading toward passage of a defense policy bill that would authorize $602 billion in military spending, prohibit the closing of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and require young women to register for a potential draft.

In a rare Friday session, the Senate voted 68-23 to proceed with the National Defense Authorization Act.

A vote on the legislation had been scheduled for earlier this week as lawmakers sought to resolve differences over potential amendments to the bill. Among them are measures that would allow Afghan civilians who assisted the American-led coalition to resettle in the United States, alter the military justice system to curb sexual...