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Congress Passes $716 Billion Defense Bill

Congress Passes $716 Billion Defense Bill

A $716 billion defense spending bill, just passed by both houses of congress, has moved to the executive office for the president’s approval.

President Donald Trump’s call for a bigger, stronger military was met by a recent Senate vote of 87 to 10 in favor of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The $716 billion defense policy bill, which has passed annually for more than 50 years, authorizes U.S. military spending, but it’s also used for other policy matters. After having been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, the bill is sent to the president, who is expected to sign it into law.


The fiscal 2019 NDAA was named to honor McCain, the Armed Services Committee chairman, war hero, long-time senator, and former Republican presidential nominee, who has been undergoing treatment for brain cancer. The bill imposes some controls on government contracts with Chinese companies ZTE Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. because of national security concerns.


However, the restrictions on the Chinese companies are weaker than in earlier versions of the bill, which angered some lawmakers. Those lawmakers wanted to reinstate tough sanctions on ZTE to punish the company for illegally shipping products to Iran and North Korea, nations hostile to the U.S.


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