The U.S. Senate passed a $738 billion defense policy bill on Tuesday that will lead to the creation of President Donald Trump’s “Space Force.” The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, was then sent to the White House where Trump has promised to quickly sign it into law as it includes all his priorities.
Voted in 86 to 8
The bill was approved by a Democratic-led House by 377 to 48 last week and then voted in by a Republican-controlled Senate by 86 to 8. The NDAA sets a range of policy measures that this year included a pay raise for the troops and the creation of a Space Force.
The House and Senate negotiated for months with White House representatives to reach the version of the NDAA that just passed.
"It is safe to say that many have misgivings about one provision or another. but there are so many other positive provisions in the bill that it is a legislative success ... that helps the military and the American people," said Democratic Senator Jack Reed according to Al Jazeera.
Some of the lawmakers that voted against the NDAA did so because it did not include policy planks that would have restrained Trump’s war powers and due to objections against the increase in military spending.
“Conservatism is about more than supporting military spending at any cost,” Republican Senator Rand Paul said according to Reuters.
There was also the issue that the bill does not prohibit Trump from using military funding to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Still, in the end, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass the bill.
"It's one of the few authorization bills that does pass year after year. And that's because everyone knows how important it is. It usually doesn't get bogged down in partisan fighting," said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe, a Republican according to Al Jazeera. "This year, the process of getting to a final conference report was certainly tougher than most. It took a few months of hard-fought negotiations, but the end result is a great bill that we can all be proud to support."