Sen. John McCain's eponymous defense authorization bill, President Trump slams Sen. McCain

Frederick Owens
August 16, 2018

Some lawmakers wanted to use the bill to reinstate tough sanctions on ZTE to punish the company for illegally shipping products to Iran and North Korea, but the restrictions included in the final National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, that passed Congress were weaker than earlier versions of the bill.

President Trump touted American military strength while in Fort Drum, New York just before he signed the annual 2019 defense spending bill.

Both provisions, among several others in the NDAA, reflect congressional concerns about the president and drew objections from the White House.

Trump said the authorization of the defense spending bill will boost the size of the military. "We know the real truth, but I won't say it today".

President Trump said troops can expect a 2.6 percent pay increase next year.

Finally, Trump said the new bill lays the groundwork for his proposed Space Force, which would be a new, sixth branch of the armed forces. Mr. Trump, who has feuded with Mr. McCain for most of his presidency, didn't mention him during his remarks. I've seen things that you don't even want to see - what they're doing and how advanced they are. The H.R. 5515 bill was named after the longtime Arizona senator and chair of the Senate Armed Service Committee.

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Under the new law, $616.9 billion is authorized for the base Pentagon budget in fiscal 2019, which starts October 1.

In addition, the U.S. defense budget in 2019 would authorize the Pentagon to allocate United States dollars 250 million to provide assistance to Ukraine in the security sphere.

A tit-for-tat over the F-35s could leave the USA and all other parties with stakes in the F-35 program short-suited, a much costlier bet than the $12 billion profit expected by participating Turkish firms.

The measure also helps modernize the military by enhancing research in the field of artificial intelligence and hypersonic technology.

The administration is also angered by Turkey's detaining of a USA pastor on terrorism charges.

Yet as Toronto Star's Washington Correspondent Daniel Dale pointed out, that assessment is incorrect - even disregarding the valuation of USA currency changing from year-to-year, former President Barack Obama signed into law a much larger spending package seven years ago.

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