Trump signs $716 bn defence authorization bill

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Washington, Aug 14 (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Monday signed the $716 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law.

The bill for the fiscal year 2019 was named after Republican Senator John Mccain, a former Republican presidential nominee and one of Trump’s leading critics within the party, Xinhua reported.

The US President made a speech before his signature at Fort Drum, a northern New York military base, but didn’t mention the ailing senator’s name.

The bill provides about $616.9 billion for the base Pentagon budget, $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons and $69 billion in war funding.

It also authorizes a 2.6 per cent pay raise for members of the military, boosts the ranks of the US military services by 15,600 active troops and approves the purchase of 13 new Navy warships and 77 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets.

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The bill was passed 87 to 10 in the Senate on August 1 after being approved by the House.

Every year, the House and Senate come together to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes the policies under which funding will be set by the appropriations committees.

–IANS

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