But Coburn objected, saying the bill, which cost more than $1 billion over 10 years, should be paid for a different way.

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“We ought to work to bring TRICARE standards up, but the other thing we ought to do is pay for it,” Coburn said on the floor Thursday. “The way it’s written now it will come out of the operations and maintenance fund. ... We ought to be taking it from someplace else.”

Coburn also objected to Amendment 3180, by Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehousePruitt confirmation sets stage for Trump EPA assault Senate Dems ask DHS inspector general for probe of Trump’s business arrangement Senate confirms Pruitt to lead EPA MORE (D-R.I.), but did not force a roll-call vote. Whitehouse’s amendment asks the National Institutes of Health to evaluate certain forms of cancers, such as pancreatic. 

Coburn, a physician, said the bill would “micromanage what they’re doing,” and “delay” research, but the bill passed anyway.

Sen. Rob PortmanRob PortmanRyan tries to save tax plan Rift in GOP threatens ObamaCare repeal Overnight Tech: GOP split on net neutrality strategy | Trump's phone worries Dems | Bill in the works on self-driving cars MORE (R-Ohio) introduced Amendment 2956, which asked the Department of Defense to standardize transcripts of military service members who want to transfer college credits. The measure passed on voice-voice with no objections.

The Senate is schedule to continue amendment work on the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, Thursday night, with hopes of finishing work by the end of the week. The defense bill funds U.S. military operation.