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President Trump Signs $700 Billion Defense Bill

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 20:18
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If you are wondering what the Republican Congress has been doing, I have some news for you. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell haven’t been solely focused on throwing the Alabama Senate race to Doug Jones. They sent the final $700 billion NDAA to President Trump for his signature.

It includes all sorts of “America First” goodies like a $65 billion slush fund for more overseas wars, $1.2 billion for the Mad Dog Mattis troop surge in Afghanistan announced in August, the $705 million for Israel’s missile defense, the $500 million for arming Ukraine as well all kinds of neocon provisions that further demonize and target Russia. It appears the one thing it DOESN’T fund is the $1.6 billion in the House version for the construction of the Trump Wall on the Mexican border.

“WASHINGTON — President Trump signed a $700 billion defense policy bill Tuesday, saying the United States military “has got to be perfecto.” But less than three hours later, he pointed out the bill’s imperfections in a signing statement.

Among them: A variety of provisions lawmakers included to force a more aggressive U.S. policy toward Russia.

Those provisions, Trump said in his signing statement, raise constitutional concerns – and “could potentially dictate the position of the United States in external military and foreign affairs” and interfere with his ability to conduct diplomacy.

The bill passed by Congress contains several provisions specifically targeting Russia. It restricts military cooperation with Russia, prohibits the United States from recognizing Russia’s legal right to the disputed Crimea peninsula, and requires the military to “develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to counter threats by the Russian Federation” — including Russia’s use of disinformation, social media and support for political parties. …”

I could be mistaken here, but I don’t see the border wall funding. If it was in there, you would think President Trump would have boasted about it in his press conference.

In a now familiar pattern, President Trump added his rubber stamp to John McCain’s agenda while outlining his reservations about it in a signing statement. This is what we saw with the Charlottesville resolution which was unanimously passed by the Republican Congress.


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