House and Senate negotiators will have two sharply different versions before them as they try to craft a final package of benefits for veterans of the Persian Gulf war.
The Senate voted 97-1 Thursday to adopt a $500 million package that calls for an increase in imminent danger pay, education money for reservists and child care assistance.A day earlier, the House approved, 398-25, a $1.1 billion package that among other items, prevents female and single-father reservists with infants less than 6 months old from being called to active duty without their consent. The prohibition would not apply to being called for training.
While the Senate bill applies to those who served in the gulf, the House bill also covers veterans of previous wars.
A conference committee of lawmakers from the two houses will attempt to draft a compromise version.