Published: Fri, December 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

US House Passes $738Bln 2020 Defence Spending Bill

US House Passes $738Bln 2020 Defence Spending Bill

Congress - don't delay this anymore!

"This NDAA strengthens our national defense and promotes a variety of issues of critical importance", Garamendi said in a statement.

White House also welcomes the news "Thanks to President @realDonaldTrump's leadership in establishing space as a warfighting domain, the United States will dominate in that environment just like all others".

While the final bill includes some important and meaningful legislation, numerous most critical provisions in the House bill were dropped. Negotiators also endorsed Trump's call for a new space force-a provision previously backed by the House on a bipartisan basis, according to The Associated Press. They also dropped protections for transgender troops, and tougher regulations on toxic chemicals that are found in firefighting foam used at military installations.

A handful of mostly left-leaning House Democrats opposed the bill because it did not include policy planks including a ban on support for Saudi Arabia's air campaign in Yemen and a measure barring Trump from using military funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

It increases pay for the troops by 3.1% and mandates 12 weeks' paid leave so federal workers can care for their families.

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In October, the Democratic-led House of Representatives had passed the resolution by an overwhelming majority. Turkey condemned the measure, saying it will not help improve relations with the United States.

"This was not an easy process", Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith said before the Wednesday vote.

The fiscal 2020 NDAA increases defense spending by about $20 billion, or about 2.8%.

The branch, which was first introduced by the House in 2017 as Space Corps, has become a top priority for President Trump. The current NDAA version lays to create a Space Corps whose structure is close to what the administration had proposed.

The Space Command will have five operation centres, a staff of 287 members from the Department of Defence and a budget of $83.8 million, and will be responsible for coordinating the five different branches of the Armed Forces; six in case the Space Force project goes ahead.

Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry, on his part, said this bill was good for soldiers and good for national security.

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