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 WhitehouseFive takeaways from Pruitt's EPA hearing Health pick’s trades put STOCK Act in spotlight Dems prepare to face off with Trump's pick 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 PortmanHillary gives Bernie cool reception at Trump inaugural lunch GOP governors defend Medicaid expansion Senators introduce dueling miners bills 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.