WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's men and women in uniform are a step closer to getting a pay raise.
The Senate has given tentative approval to a bill that includes a 3.9-percent pay increase for military personnel along with $70 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Republican opponents had objected to $5 billion in pet projects that Congress added onto the bill. But backers, including retiring Republican Senator John Warner, characterized "no" votes as showing disrespect for military personnel, a charge no candidate wants seven weeks before Election Day.
The vote was 61-32, barely clearing the required 60-vote threshold.
Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will take a final vote tomorrow night.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)