Trump Threatens Veto Of Defence Bill Over Afghan Policy

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump threatened to veto this year’s $740 billion National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), objecting to plans to limit spending on Afghanistan and other provisions, he sees as curbing his authority.

The White House said they objected to the provisions that put limits on the use of funds in the war in Afghanistan, along with controls on deploying National Guard troops within the U.S., and stripping the names of Confederate generals from U.S. military bases.

The NDAA sets policy for the Department of Defence and has been passed for 59 years, usually seen as a “must-pass.”

The bill governs everything from pay raises to how much military equipment to purchase.

A Pentagon spokesperson said that he expected the congress and the White House to solve their differences by the time the bill is sent to Trump later this year.

The House of Representatives debated amendments to the NDAA, one of which was a proposal to accelerate the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

The amendment to the NDAA fell by a vote of 129-284, and was rejected.

“Endless wars continue to take lives and disable so many. It is long past time to end this war,” said Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota who had introduced the amendment.

If passed, it would have removed the series of conditions that had been imposed for troop withdrawal, like ensuring that Afghanistan will not be used as a safe haven by anti-West forces.

Omar’s proposal would have added that all troops from Afghanistan would be back by April 29, 2021.

“The withdrawal of the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan must be accompanied by a long-term peace process that is inclusive of all parties to the conflict and sectors of civil society,” the amendment had read.

The House later passed the NDAA by a vote of 295 to 125, paving the way for negotiations with the Senate who will now vote on it.

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