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Donald Trump signs $716B defense authorization bill in New York


By Daniel Uria, UPI

President Donald Trump signed a $716 billion military authorization funding bill Monday while making no mention of Sen. John McCain, whom the bill was named after.

Trump delivered an address to troops at the Fort Drum U.S. Army reservation in New York before signing the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which was passed by Congress on Aug. 1.

The bill represents a $82 billion funding increase for the Department of Defense over the current period, including a $617 billion Pentagon budget, $22 billion for the nuclear weapons program and $69 billion for U.S. military efforts abroad.

[post_ads]"The National Defense Authorization Act is the most significant investment in our military and our war fighters in modern history," Trump said. "We are going to strengthen our military like never ever before and that's what we did."

Trump also touted the addition of thousands of new recruits to active duty, and reserve and National Guard units as well as new tanks, planes and ships "with the most advanced and lethal technology ever developed."

"America is a peaceful nation but if conflict is forced upon us, we will fight and we will win," Trump said.

Trump praised various military leaders in attendance as well as several members of Congress whom he credited for passing the bill, including Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.

He made no mention of Sen. McCain, R-Ariz., whose name is on the bill, but has mostly been absent from Congress while undergoing treatment for brain cancer. McCain has often clashed with the president.

"This year's NDAA represents an important opportunity to implement an effective approach to confront a growing array of threats. The administration's National Defense Strategy outlined a framework for identifying and prioritizing these threats. Through the NDAA, Congress is fulfilling its duty to help translate that strategy into policy and align resources to implement it," McCain said in a written statement Monday.

McCain's name appears on the bill in honor of his military service, during which he became a prisoner of war in 1967 after his plane was shot down over Hanoi. The North Vietnamese released him in 1973.
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"I'm humbled that my colleagues in Congress chose to designate this bill in my name. Serving as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and working on behalf of America's brave service members has been one of the greatest honors of my life," he said.

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US News: Donald Trump signs $716B defense authorization bill in New York
Donald Trump signs $716B defense authorization bill in New York
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