This week, the House and Senate voted to pass a $738 billion defense bill, which according to The New York Times is one of the most expensive military measures in the nation’s history and one that Trump has championed as a critical priority.
This bill will help fund the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the Space Force, U.S. support in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, a pay raise for the troops, military construction, and more.
Robert C. Koehler at Common Dreams writes: “‘The money just isn’t there’ for virtually anything that matters — you know, healthcare for all, free college tuition, clean water, eco-sustainable energy production — but we’ve sold the national soul to the war god so long ago that the perfunctory, bipartisan passage of the National Defense Authorization Act comes and goes every year with, at most, a few marginal cries of outrage and a big shrug from the media.”
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed with a 377 to 48 vote. According to the Reason, democrats are applauding the bill because it expands paid parental leave for some federal workers and ups reimbursement fees for military spouses who need new occupational licenses when they move.
Wow! All of our priorities have made it into the final NDAA: Pay Raise for our Troops, Rebuilding our Military, Paid Parental Leave, Border Security, and Space Force! Congress – don’t delay this anymore! I will sign this historic defense legislation immediately!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 11, 2019
While a majority of Senate Democrats passed the bill, progressive Democrats like Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California, are furious over the vote.
“The NDAA is a capitulation to the White House’s priorities, as is evidenced by the president’s tweet…He basically said that he got everything he wanted, from border security and a bloated defense budget to a blank check on policy in the Middle East,” says Khanna.
My friend @RepRoKhanna is right: it is Orwellian for Congress to hand over billions of dollars worth of weapons and bombs to a president waging a horrific, unconstitutional war in Yemen—and call that progressive. pic.twitter.com/6SUmUUhv3q— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 11, 2019