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 TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push 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 MattisPentagon reporters left in dark as Iran tensions escalate Trump officials slow-walk president's order to cut off Central American aid: report Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Trump nominates Shanahan as Pentagon chief | House panel advances bill to block military funds for border wall | Trump defends Bolton despite differences 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 SchneiderOmar hits back at Pelosi over BDS remarks Hoyer defends Israel in veiled shot at Omar House Dems unveil measure to reject anti-Israel boycotts MORE (D-Ill.), would add a certification requirement to the bill.

Another, from Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeOvernight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds House Appropriations passes defense bill that would limit funds for border wall, pull US support from Yemen war House panel approves language revoking 2001 war authority as Iran tensions spike MORE (D-Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonGillibrand endorses DC statehood: Democracy doesn't mean 'for some of us' The Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics Bipartisan group asks DHS, ICE to halt deportations of Iraqi nationals 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 ThornberryOvernight Defense: Congressional leaders receive classified briefing on Iran | Trump on war: 'I hope not' | Key Republican calls threats credible | Warren plan targets corporate influence at Pentagon Key Republican 'convinced' Iran threats are credible Overnight Defense: Trump seeks 7M for Pentagon in .5B border funding request | US general says focus in Venezuela is on intel | Biden backs ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen 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.