3.1% pay raise for service members to go before Senate for approval

A bill that would give U.S. military men and women a 3.1% pay raise -- the largest since 2010 -- is headed to the Senate for approval.

The Department of Defense appropriations bill also provides funding to research and develop advanced technologies for the military, according to a statement from Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. It was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and now heads to the full Senate for a final vote.

"Governing is about setting priorities, and this bill shows our priority is the men and women who serve in our armed forces," Alexander said. "This funding bill provides a total of $694.9 billion for our national defense, a $20.5 billion increase over fiscal year 2019. The bill also includes a 3.1% pay raise for the men and women who defend our freedoms."

The bill also reduced funding for a new middle school in Fort Campbell, Tennessee, The Clarkston Leaf-Chronicle reported. The project was delayed to reallocate money for President Donald Trump's border wall, according to the newspaper.

In addition to the pay raise, the statement said the bill approves:

  • Funding to continue modernization of our nuclear arsenal;
  • $105.1 billion for Department of Defense research, development, testing and evaluation programs, including hypersonics research, technological research and medical research -- a record level of funding for defense research and development;
  • $70.6 billion in overseas contingency operations funding to help ensure our military men and women are properly trained and equipped when deployed to places like Afghanistan;
  • Funding for 1,339,500 active duty troops and 800,800 reserve troops;
  • $33.9 billion for defense health programs and $1.04 billion for medical research at the Department of Defense;
  • Over $850 million for equipment for the National Guard and Reserves to modernize our reserve forces and ensure that they have the equipment they need;
  • $4 million to fund a pilot program that was included in the Senate defense authorization bill, which will help states work together and reduce barriers that prevent military spouses from finding employment;
  • $1.7 billion in emergency spending to support disaster recovery for those affected by hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes earlier this year.

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