House Takes Up its Fiscal 2020 NDAA, Approval This Week Uncertain

House Takes Up its Fiscal 2020 NDAA, Approval This Week Uncertain

The Democrat-led House took up its version of the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act by starting with a floor vote Wednesday on a rule that would govern debate of more than 439 amendments to the legislation, CQ reported.

The mandatory annual defense policy bill, which sets policies and spending for defense programs, faces mounting lawmaker challenges beyond amendments to gain final passage out of the House.

The lower chamber could have difficulty rounding up the votes to pass its $733 billion defense spending topline due to objections from both sides of the aisle, according to the report.

Democratic leaders are hoping to pass the legislation by the end of this week after the Senate passed its $750 billion version late last month.

House Republicans are generally opposed to the Democrat-crafted legislation over differences with its lower defense spending topline, among other concerns.

On the other side of the aisle, many progressive Democrats usually vote against the bill every year due to increased defense spending, as many are expected to do this week.

Most Republicans are expected to vote against the NDAA, as almost every Republican on the House Armed Services Committee did last month, and if enough progressive Democrats join, the measure would not pass.

Democratic members of the Progressive Caucus said Wednesday they remain undecided on how to vote on the legislation, according to The Hill.

Throughout the House NDAA markup process progressives maintained the measure remains too costly, and have added they will watch to see which amendments are approved on the floor.

The White House has threatened to veto the bill if the $733 billion topline for DOD spending passes Congress, Breaking Defense reported. The administration has listed its major objections in a “Statement of Administration Policy” provided to the House Rules Committee, which is included to the Breaking Defense report.

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