House passes defense spending bill as part of $1.3T minibus

By Justin Doubleday / July 31, 2020 at 1:31 PM

The House voted 217-197 today to pass a fiscal year 2021 minibus appropriations bill, including $694.6 billion in Defense Department funding.

The Democrat-led House passed the $1.3 trillion package largely along party lines. The legislation moved forward after the White House threatened President Trump would veto the bill in a statement of administration policy released this morning.

The White House objects to numerous provisions in the defense portion of the bill, including provisions restricting the Defense Department's reprogramming authority, a requirement to rename military bases that honor Confederate generals, and the repeal of both the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, meanwhile, has yet to mark up the FY-21 funding bills.

Lawmakers are also attempting to reach a deal on a new COVID-19 stimulus package. Earlier this week, the Senate GOP released the proposal they negotiated with the White House, which includes nearly $30 billion for the Pentagon. But the proposal was immediately met with criticism from Democrats and even some Republicans over superfluous items, such as funding for a new FBI headquarters.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said today the House would not go on August recess until a deal on the relief package is reached. As of press time, the Senate was still scheduled to leave Washington for recess Aug. 7.