House lawmakers pass defense bill 56-0

By Tony Bertuca / July 2, 2020 at 9:10 AM

The House Armed Services Committee last night voted 56-0 to approve its version of the fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill.

The bipartisan vote stands in stark contrast to last year, when not a single House Republican voted for the committee’s bill.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the committee’s ranking Republican, said the bill is on track to pass for the 60th consecutive year.

“While I don’t agree with everything in this bill, we have many opportunities ahead of us to continue perfecting it and I am pleased to support it,” he said in a statement.

The committee was largely able to sidestep heavily partisan issues and a previously agreed upon budgetary topline allowed the panel to bypass debates on defense spending.

But the committee did not eschew controversial debate altogether, voting down an amendment that would have transferred $1 billion from the Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program to a pandemic preparedness fund.

Additionally, the bill would restrict President Trump’s ability to move 9,500 U.S. troops out of Germany.

The legislation would also rename military bases that currently honor Confederate leaders, something Trump has said would make him the veto the bill.

The bill must pass the full House before it can be reconciled with one slated to soon be passed in the Senate.

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