Senate Panel Advances $750 Billion Military Budget, Setting Up Battle With House

Bill would limit Trump's ability to withdraw from NATO

Just days after the House military spending bill advanced through committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee has passed its own $750 billion military spending bill for 2020. Senate officials presented it as a “realistic” plan to increase spending.

The Senate version of the bill broadly excluded the clauses in the House version, like the call to cancel the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, and the de-funding of the Yemen War.

Since the two houses of Congress are led by opposite parties, the attempt to try to get the two versions in line will likely turn into an ugly political battle. The 3.1% military pay raise is one of very few topics of agreement.

Not that the Senate version doesn’t include its own policy diktats. One of the provisions in their version aims to prevent President Trump withdrawing from NATO by blocking funding for any effort to withdraw from Europe if the US is in the process of leaving NATO.

The bill also aims to “target China” on several fronts, mostly by spending more money buying weapons, and doing more screening of Chinese people and creating lists of Chinese “students and researchers.”

Efforts to prohibit a US attack on Iran failed in committee, but Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) says that he still intends to push for such a resolution once again when it comes to a floor vote.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.