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House passes National Defense Authorization Act

The House has passed the National Defense Authorization Act, the major funding measure for the United States military for fiscal year 2014.

The vote was 350 - 69. It now goes to the Senate, although the upper chamber is currently tangled in debate over executive nominations.

The act is the product of two bills – one from the House and one from the Senate – which were merged in a bipartisan deal after the Senate’s version stalled due to disagreement about the amendment process.

The leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committee announced a deal on the merged legislation on Monday.

One high-profile amendment to the bill won’t be included. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., had hoped to force a vote on a proposal to remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command. That plan had won support from some unlikely allies – including from some of the Senate’s most conservative members – but it was strongly opposed by many top Pentagon officials.

While Gillibrand’s legislation won’t be included, the deal does address the issue of sexual assault by prohibiting commanders from overturning verdicts in sexual assault cases and by instituting other oversight measures.