Defense bill amendments target Trump's military parade

Defense bill amendments target Trump's military parade
© Greg Nash

Democrats are taking aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE’s planned military parade through proposed amendments to the annual defense policy bill.

As it stands now, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would authorize a parade that includes small arms and munitions “appropriate for customary ceremonial honors” and military units that “perform customary ceremonial duties.”

It would prohibit motorized vehicles, aviation platforms, munitions other than the ceremonial ones, operational military units or operational military platforms if Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisWatchdog: Former Pentagon spokeswoman misused staff for personal errands Senate panel advances Pentagon chief, Joint Chiefs chairman nominees The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment MORE determines that would hamper readiness, but it would not require Mattis to certify to Congress that readiness won’t be affected.

One amendment, offered by Rep. Brad SchneiderBradley (Brad) Scott SchneiderTlaib blasts Foreign Affairs Committee's anti-BDS bill as 'unconstitutional' GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions Omar hits back at Pelosi over BDS remarks MORE (D-Ill.), would add a certification requirement to the bill.

Another, from Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Congress, stop ducking war-declaration authority on Iran MORE (D-Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonMajority of Americans opposes DC statehood: poll DC statehood hearing rescheduled to make room for Mueller testimony DC mayor: Trump's July 4 celebration 'depleted' security fund MORE (D-D.C.), would aim to block the parade altogether by prohibiting funding for “any exhibition or parade of military forces and hardware for review by the president in order to demonstrate military force outside of authorized military operations or activities.’’

The Pentagon confirmed in February that Trump had directed defense officials to begin planning a military parade, apparently inspired by the Bastille Day parade he saw when he visited France.

In March, the Defense Department released a memo saying the parade would be held Nov. 11, the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

The parade is meant to highlight contributions of veterans throughout U.S. history and is to include veterans wearing period uniforms, according to the memo. The memo also stipulates that only wheeled vehicles are to be used, not tanks.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryHillicon Valley: Intel chief creates new election security position | Privacy groups want role in new tech task force | Republicans urge Trump not to delay Pentagon cloud contract Republican lawmakers ask Trump not to delay Pentagon cloud-computing contract House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill MORE (R-Texas) included the language in the NDAA signing off on the parade because he “agrees with President Trump that it is appropriate to honor and celebrate 100 years of patriotic sacrifice in a way that expresses appreciation and admiration for our men and women in uniform, including a parade in the nation’s capital and a national celebration for that purpose,” according to a summary of the bill.

During the committee’s markup of the bill last week, Democrats tried to restrict the parade with an amendment have would have made the prohibition on equipment and units unconditional. The amendment was rejected by voice vote.

The House is expected to consider the NDAA next week. The House Rules Committee will decide which amendments make it to a floor vote.