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Overnight Defense: Trump marks 9/11 anniversary | Senate begins debate on defense policy bill | Bipartisan amendment would block transgender ban

Overnight Defense: Trump marks 9/11 anniversary | Senate begins debate on defense policy bill | Bipartisan amendment would block transgender ban
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THE TOPLINE: President Trump spoke at the Pentagon on Monday to observe the 16th anniversary of 9/11 in a ceremony with Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: First Gitmo transfer under Trump could happen 'soon' | White House says Trump has confidence in VA chief | Russia concedes 'dozens' of civilians injured in Syria clash Pentagon: First Gitmo transfer under Trump could happen 'soon' Russia concedes 'dozens' of citizens injured in clash with US forces in Syria MORE and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.

The Hill's Jordan Fabian has more on Trump's remarks:

Trump delivered a stern warning to extremist groups threatening the U.S. on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, his first commemoration of the somber occasion as president.

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Speaking at the Pentagon on Monday, where one of four hijacked planes crashed 16 years ago, Trump mourned those who died and said he would honor the sacrifice by doing "whatever we must to keep our people safe."

"The terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit," he said. "But America cannot be intimidated, and those who try will soon join the list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle."

Read the rest here.

 

AFGHAN SUICIDE ATTACK INJURES TROOPS: As Americans were reflecting on Sept. 11, they were reminded that the war that followed the attacks continues.

A "small number" of coalition troops and Afghan civilians were injured by a suicide bomber who targeted their convoy near the village of Qal'eh-ye Musa Bala in Parwan Province, Operation Resolute Support said in a statement Monday.

The statement did not specify the nationalities of the injured troops. Resolute Support is the NATO-led train-advise-assist mission that includes U.S. troops.

The troops' injuries are not considered life threatening, according to the statement.

The Hill's Ellen Mitchell has more here.

 

DEFENSE BILL MOVES FORWARD IN SENATE: The annual defense policy bill easily cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate on Monday, setting up a week of floor debate on hot button defense issues.

The Senate voted 89-3 on Monday night to move to debate the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

More than 300 amendments have been filed on the NDAA. There's no guarantee they'll make it to the floor, and most won't.

Among those filed is a bipartisan measure from Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandAmerican women will decide who wins and loses in 2018 elections Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Calls mount from Dems to give platform to Trump accusers  MORE (D-N.Y.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand FCC to officially rescind net neutrality rules on Thursday MORE (R-Maine) that would block President Trump's ban on transgender troops.

The amendment would prohibit the Pentagon from discharging or preventing the re-enlistment of currently serving transgender troops and require Defense Secretary James Mattis to complete the review of enlisting new transgender troops he started before Trump announced the ban.

The Hill's Jordain Carney has more on the amendment here.

 

The leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee, meanwhile, have offered an amendment to allow for another round of base closures, something the Pentagon has repeatedly requested as a cost saving measure that lawmakers have blocked.

Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (R-Ariz.) and ranking member Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Raymond ReedFBI chief: Trump hasn't specifically directed me to stop Russian meddling in midterms Live coverage: FBI director testifies to Senate Intelligence Committee Senate Dems demand answers on cost of Trump's military parade proposal MORE (D-R.I.) on Monday filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would establish a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission to review all military installations.

If it ends up in the final version of the bill, the amendment would potentially jump-start another round of base closures, something that has not happened at the Pentagon since 2005.

The legislation would require a list of potential base closures and realignments to be compiled by the Pentagon, certified by the president and then submitted to Congress by the fall of 2019. Congress would vote on passing the BRAC after a 60-day public comment period, and base closures would start by 2021.

The Hill's Ellen Mitchell has more on the base closure amendment here.

 

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider the nominations for under secretary of State for management, ambassador to Afghanistan, ambassador to Bahrain and U.S. director of the African Development Bank at 9:30 a.m. at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 419. http://bit.ly/2xUFNSf

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hear from administration officials on options to pressure North Korea at 10 a.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2172. http://bit.ly/2xTXfq4

A House Veterans Affairs subpanel will hold a hearing on VA mail management at 10:30 a.m. at the Cannon House Office Building, room 334. http://bit.ly/2eTq2Xi

 

ICYMI:

-- The Hill: Senate report slams Trump foreign policy as 'apparent doctrine of retreat'

-- The Hill: Week ahead: Senate takes up defense policy bill

-- The Hill: McCain says he is facing 'very vicious' form of cancer

-- The Hill: US, Japan conduct air exercise over East China Sea

-- The Hill: US approves $3.8B in arms sales to Bahrain

-- Stars and Stripes: S. Korea rejects idea of redeploying US nuclear weapons on peninsula

-- Associated Press: UN Security Council adopts new N. Korea sanctions

-- Reuters: U.S. denies Iran report of confrontation with U.S. vessel

 

Please send tips and comments to Rebecca Kheel, rkheel@thehill.com, and Ellen Mitchell, emitchell@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @thehill, @Rebecca_H_K, @EllenMitchell2

 

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