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Senate passes 2017 Defense Act

June 14, 2016

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The Senate voted 85-13 June 14 in favor of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
The bill, S. 2943, authorizes defense and military personnel programs to receive $618 billion in 2017. It also keeps medical and dental research in the Department of Defense.

The ADA was part of a coalition the helped keep research in the legislation. On June 1, the ADA, along with 129 other health care professional groups, patient advocacy organizations and universities, asked the Senate to remove sections 756 and 898 in a letter to Senate Committee on Armed Services Chair John McCain, R-Ariz., Ranking Minority Member Jack Reed, D-R.I., and all 100 senators.

Section 756 would have jeopardized funding for research activities and section 898 would have placed "unnecessary and burdensome acquisition compliance and auditing requirements" on programs.

The coalition urged the Senate to remove the sections in order to preserve funding for research activities, prompting Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to introduce an amendment, which ultimately passed and remains in the final wording.