House passes veto-proof defense bill

Defense bill passes

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWNY) - The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to approve the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual legislation which lays out how the military will spend its money.

North country congresswoman Elise Stefanik voted yes, and declared the House vote a victory for Fort Drum.

The vote was 335-78. enough votes to override President Trump’s expected veto. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it will also pass, though it is not clear whether it will be by a veto-proof majority.

That’s important, because President Trump has threatened to veto the spending plan because it doesn’t include a repeal of protections for social media companies like Facebook and Twitter. The bill also requires the military to rename bases which are named after prominent members of the Confederacy.

What’s in the bill? CNN sums it up this way: “The $740 billion bill includes pay raises for America’s soldiers, modernizations for equipment and provisions to require more scrutiny before troops are withdrawn from Germany or Afghanistan.”

Stefanik, in a statement, said the bill included the continued listing of Drum as the preferred site for an east coast missile defense installation; a three percent pay raise for troops; adding Parkinsonism, bladder cancer, and hypothyroidism to the list of diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange; requiring reporting on the oversight of known environmental hazards in government-owned family housing, including overseas housing.

Stefanik said in her statement “I am proud to successfully deliver crucial results for our men and women in uniform in this year’s NDAA.”

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