(AntiWar, by Jason Ditz) In a 79-10 vote, the Senate today passed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a $716 billion military spending bill. The bill had already passed in the House last week, and is expected to be signed by President Trump.
The bill sets the base Pentagon budget at $616.9 billion, with another $69 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations, alongside $21.9 billion for the Energy Department for the massive nuclear weapons modernization program.
This was the single largest increase in military spending year-over-year in 15 years, and is the latest in the annual push between President Trump and Congress to see who can outdo the other in spending increases.
The bill authorizes the purchase of 13 new warships, 77 more F-35s, and new low-yield nuclear weapons to be launched by submarine. The $716 billion is by far the most spent by any nation on their military, and almost five times as much as the next largest nation, China.
This bill aims to limit US involvement in the Yemen War, as well as forcing the US to better vet the Syrian factions it arms to prevent arming terrorist groups. The bill also includes language cautioning that nothing in the bill is intended to authorize an attack on Iran.