Senate Passes $738 Billion 2020 Military Spending Bill

Bill orders US intel chief to review who ordered Khashoggi murder

In an 86-8 vote, the Senate passed a $738 billion military spending bill for 2020, sending it on to the president to sign. The bill includes substantial authorizations to purchase various warplanes and ships, and funding of nuclear weapons.

The small increase in nuclear weapons spending comes without past House restrictions on low-yield weapons, These weapons are intended to be more usable than the existing arsenal, though raise criticism that it would make nuclear strikes far more common.

The bill also establishes a Space Force, following Trump Administration calls for such a force to try to retain a US military superiority in space against largely undefined enemies.

And while almost everything related to the Yemen War and the backlash against the Saudis got stripped from the final bill, language still remains that orders the Director of National Intelligence to issue a report on advance knowledge and role of the Saudis in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

The Khashoggi report would have to come within 30 days of the bill becoming law, and while the Trump Administration has generally ignored Congressional mandates for reports, doing so with part of a military spending bill might be more perilous, and lead to a further backlash.

Trump is reported to intend to sign the bill, and is expected to do so some time next week.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.