The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a measure that would provide a sizable boost in fiscal 2008 Dept. of Defense construction and Veterans Affairs spending. The $109.2-billion bill, which the Senate passed on Sept. 6 in a 92-1 vote, would represent a 20% hike over 2007, excluding $6.6 billion in emergency funds approved last year.

Senate lawmakers now will need to reconcile their bill with the version the House approved in June.  Both call for $8.2 billion for the current Base Realignment and Closure round, up $5.7 billion from 2007. The House bill contains $1.4 billion for major Veterans Affairs construction projects, almost  double the Senate’s $727 million. 

The White House called the Senate measure’s “excessive” but didn’t threaten a presidential veto.