U.S.

December 24, 2013

A look at the current $632.8 billion defense bill

The comprehensive, $632.8 billion defense bill heading to President Barack Obama for his signature would crack down on sexual assault in the military, authorize combat pay for the troops and cover the cost of new ships, aircraft and weapons.

A look at the legislation:

* Authorizes $552.1 billion for the core budget, including $17.6 billion for defense programs within the Energy Department and $80.7 billion for the war in Afghanistan and other overseas operations.

* Provides a 1 percent pay raise for military personnel.

* Authorizes the size of the force at 520,000 for the Army; 323,600 for the Navy; 190,200 for the Marine Corps and 327,600 for the Air Force.

* Authorizes funds for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

* Strips military commanders of their ability to overturn jury convictions.

* Requires a civilian review if a commander declines to prosecute a case.

* Requires that any individual convicted of sexual assault face a dishonorable discharge or dismissal.

* Provides victims of sexual assault or rape with legal counsel.

* Eliminates the statute of limitations for courts-martial in rape and sexual assault cases, and criminalizes retaliation against victims who report a sexual assault.

* Changes the military’s Article 32 proceedings to limit intrusive questioning of victims, making it more similar to a grand jury.

* Requires the Pentagon to deploy an additional missile defense radar to protect the United States from long-range missile threats from North Korea, and authorizes $30 million for initial costs toward deployment.

* Prohibits the transfer of terror suspects from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States and bars construction of detainee facilities in the U.S. Gives the president more flexibility in transferring prisoners overseas.




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