The Senate version of the vast military policy bill that now heads to conference with the House would knock out one of the advantages veterans enjoy when they apply for federal work. They would continue to get a leg up over non-veterans to get a foot in the door. But once they’re in government and want to be considered for another federal post, they would no longer go to the head of the hiring queue.

The change, approved on Tuesday by the Senate as part of its annual defense policy bill, would apply across government and affect thousands of veterans and their close relatives, who also are able to jump the line over non-veterans.

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