The House late Thursday passed the National Defense Authorization Act after a marathon day of voting on hundreds of amendments as Congress continues work toward a government funding bill with a potential shutdown one week away.
The $768 billion defense bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, with 316 lawmakers voting in favor. It now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to pass and soon after become law as it has yearly for nearly six decades.
It provides an additional $24 billion for the defense department compared to last year’s legislation, an amount touted by both Washington Democratic Rep. Adam Smith and Alabama Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, the House Armed Services Committee’s chair and ranking member.
The unadjusted consumer price index as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 5.28 percent for the month of July, slightly lower than June at 5.32 percent, but still measuring the highest inflation on record since July 2008, when it hit nearly 5.5 percent.
The latest numbers come as Congress has easily passed another gargantuan $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending plan that included $550 billion of new spending. Interest rates have already reacted as 10-year treasuries came off a near-term low of 1.17 percent on Aug. 2 to 1.36 percent as of Aug. 12, slightly increasing inflation expectations.
The $1.2 trillion spendathon was just the latest in a long line of spending that has added $5.25 trillion to the national debt since Jan. 2020 in response to the Covid pandemic all the way to the current $28.5 trillion: the $2.2 trillion CARES Act and the $900 billion phase four under former President Donald Trump, and then the $1.9 trillion stimulus under President Joe Biden. It’s been a bipartisan affair.
A pair of Pennsylvania lawmakers said Friday that state residents themselves should decide the stringency of the state’s voter identification law.
The push comes after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said he’d never support strengthening existing voter I.D. law – one of the top priorities for Republicans in their election reform proposal unveiled Thursday.
Sen. Judy Ward, R-Hollidaysburg, and Rep. Jeff Wheeland, R-Williamsport, both support their party’s proposal to require identification each and every time a resident casts a ballot in-person. Current law stipulates identification only for first time voters in a precinct.