WASHINGTON — The House approved its version of the 2020 defense bill Friday, passing a measure that blocks President Donald Trump from a variety of Pentagon-related activities and reducing the overall amount of spending sought by the White House.
The measure passed on a 220-197 vote. Eight Democratic members voted no, as did all Republican members who voted.
The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, as the defense bill is formally called, sets sending at $733 billion. The Senate version is $750 billion — but the differences are more substantial than the final amount.
For example, the House bill includes amendments that end U.S. support to Saudi-led military operations against Houthi rebels; block the Pentagon from spending money at about 60 Trump properties; bar funding for most parades or exhibitions using military hardware for review by the president; block funding to develop or field missiles that violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty; bar Trump from pulling the U.S. out of NATO; require the Department of Defense to provide more information on awards and disciplinary action taken as a result of the investigation into the deadly Niger ambush in 2018; reverse the ban on transgender troops; prevent Trump from launching a military strike on Iran without prior congressional approval; block emergency arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force that authorized the Iraq War.
They were among the 600 amendments to the bill the House considered.
President Trump has threatened to veto the defense bill if it follows the House version.
“This bill helps improve our military readiness, modernize our armed forces, preserve our national security, and provide the resources, equipment, and training our military needs to complete their missions,” Rep. Ruben Gallegos (D-Ariz.), a member of the House Armed Service Committee, said in a statement Friday. “I am proud to have helped draft it and will work to ensure it becomes law.”