Senate Passes $740 Billion NDAA in Veto-Proof Majority

The massive bill includes amendments to block troop drawdowns in Afghanistan and Germany

On Friday, the Senate passed the $740 billion 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in a veto-proof majority. The vote came after Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) tried to delay the massive spending bill over an amendment that seeks to block troops drawdowns from Afghanistan.

The final tally for the vote was 84 to 13, well over the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto. President Trump has threatened to veto the NDAA for a few reasons, mainly because it does not include an amendment to repeal Section 230, a law that gives tech platforms immunity from liability over the content published by third party users.

The Afghanistan amendment on the bill would block funds to bring troops home from Afghanistan until the Pentagon, State Department, and the DNI submit a report to Congress about how the drawdown would affect US security.

The assessment would be required as soon as the NDAA becomes law. Assessments would also be required when troop numbers go below 4,000, and again at 2,000. The Trump administration is currently carrying out a plan to bring numbers down to 2,500 by January 15th.

Senator Paul warned the amendment would set “a very dangerous precedent for limiting a President’s power to end war.”

The NDAA also includes an amendment to block a planned troop drawdown from Germany. The Trump administration ordered the Pentagon to take about 12,000 troops out of Germany of the approximately 34,500 stationed there.

The NDAA amendment would not allow the Pentagon to bring troops out of Germany until 120 days after the secretary of defense submitted an analysis to Congress on how the drawdown would impact US national security.

On Tuesday, the NDAA passed through the House, also with a veto-proof majority. If President Trump goes ahead with the veto, both chambers will likely override it unless some Republicans change their votes to align with the president.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the assistant news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.