Washington — A measure to boost business for a nonprofit providing jobs for the blind in Louisiana was added Thursday by U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., to a bill authorizing defense spending.

Under the Vitter proposal, certain products would be exempt from a Dept. of Defense procurement program that encourages purchases from suppliers in countries in Central Asia and Africa close to U.S. military operations there. That program has meant a loss of supply business for Lighthouse for the Blind, which operates workshops in New Orleans and Baton Rouge and in Gulfport, Mississippi, according to the nonprofit.

The Vitter amendment was added to the Senate version of the Defense bill, which passed the full Senate Thursday. A similar proposal by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was attached earlier to the version of the Defense bill approved by the House. The House and Senate must agree on one version to send the bill to the president for signature.