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Virginia senators call for final passage of National Defense Authorization Act

Final version of 2019 defense bill includes highest pay raise in nine years
Posted at 3:19 PM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 22:44:03-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Amid continuing delays over final passage of the National Defense Authorization Bill, Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner both say now is the time for it to pass.

The bill to fund the military easily passed both chambers of Congress earlier this year and is currently in Conference Committee for final negotiations. This year's bill calls for more than $700 billion in spending and a pay raise for military members.

It's hit a snag as President Trump has threatened to veto it if a provision calling for military bases named for Confederate commanders to be renamed is included.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1278176059876401152?s=20

"The President's threat to veto this has actually delayed this into December. We easily could've gotten this done over the summer or in September or October," said Sen. Kaine on Tuesday.

Sen. Warner also released a statement saying, "Delays in its passage undermine mission readiness and stability for our service members as they tackle our national security challenges."

Sen. Kaine says there's still time for its passage before any negative impacts on the military. "Thus far, the delays haven't been harmful because sometimes we don't get the NDAA done until December in Congress," he said.

News 3 reached out to the White House for more details on the President's current thinking, but didn't get a response.

Later Tuesday night, Trump called Section 230 of the bill a "serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity," adding that the U.S. "can never be safe & secure if we allow it to stand." He went on to say that he "will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill" if the section is not completely terminated.

Sen. Kaine believes President Trump will still sign the bill into law, but says Congress would override the veto if there is one. "My belief is this: While the president has threatened to veto, he'd veto construction of subs and military pay increases," he said. "I think it's a big bluff. I don't think he'll do it."