Overnight Defense: House passes $1T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record

Overnight Defense: House passes $1T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record
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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I'm Rebecca Kheel, and here's your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.

 

THE TOPLINE: A $1 trillion spending package that includes defense money is through the House, but that's about as far as it's going for now.

Democrats on Wednesday muscled through the spending bill that attempts to block several of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE's policies that Democrats find odious, underscoring Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Democrats bicker over strategy on impeachment Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE's (D-Calif.) argument that the House can work as a check on the administration.

Lawmakers passed the spending package in a 226-203 vote that fell largely along party lines. Seven Democrats voted against the measure, as did all Republicans.

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The seven Democrats who voted against the measure were Reps. Denny HeckDennis (Denny) Lynn HeckExclusive: Guccifer 2.0 hacked memos expand on Pennsylvania House races Heck enjoys second political wind Incoming lawmaker feeling a bit overwhelmed MORE (Wash.), Ben McAdams (Utah), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez mocks 'White House ethics' in Instagram post Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul Kennedy to challenge Markey in Senate primary MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Omar asks Twitter what it's doing in response to Trump spreading 'lies that put my life at risk' Trump seeks to expand electoral map with New Mexico rally MORE (Minn.), Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Can Trump save GOP in North Carolina special election? The 9 House Republicans who support background checks Congress must work together and solve humanitarian crisis at the border MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Omar asks Twitter what it's doing in response to Trump spreading 'lies that put my life at risk' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump eyes narrowly focused response to Iran attacks MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar says she hopes Netanyahu not reelected Bill Maher, Michael Moore spar over Democrats' strategy for 2020 Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight MORE (Mich.).

While the legislation is unlikely to become law in its current form, it nonetheless gives Pelosi more leverage in spending talks with Senate Republicans, who have not passed any government funding bills for fiscal 2020.

In addition to defense, the bill includes the other largest government spending bill, Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. It also covers funding bills for foreign operations and energy and water.

Defense specifics: The so-called minibus folded in the $690.2 billion Pentagon spending bill for fiscal 2020.

Several defense amendments also got floor votes.

In a Tuesday night vote, Democrats added in language that would block funds from being used to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

The transgender amendment was approved 243-183. Nine Republicans voted in support of the measure: Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashTrump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy Amash: 'Bolton never should have been hired' Romney: Bolton firing 'a huge loss' for nation MORE (Mich.), Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartThe 9 House Republicans who support background checks House passes temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans House fails to pass temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans MORE (Fla.), Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerGOP Rep. Sean Duffy resigning from Congress Democrat running for Will Hurd's seat raises over million in first 100 days of campaign The House Republicans and Democrats not seeking reelection in 2020 MORE (Minn.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHouse Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Ensuring quality health care for those with intellectual disabilities and autism House Democrats target 2020 GOP incumbents in new ad MORE (Pa.), Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezAmerica's colleges and universities are aggressively addressing foreign threats The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Freshman members form bipartisan task force on election vulnerabilities ahead of 2020 MORE (Ohio), Trey HollingsworthJoseph (Trey) Albert HollingsworthOvernight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran MORE (Ind.), Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdGOP struggles with retirement wave Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House MORE (Texas), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoHillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Lawmakers weigh responses to rash of ransomware attacks Hillicon Valley: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's account hacked | Google found iPhone security bug | YouTube reportedly to pay up to 0M to settle child privacy investigation | DNC expected to nix Iowa virtual caucus plans MORE (N.Y.) and Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedLobbying World Gun debate to shape 2020 races Conservatives push Trump tariff relief over payroll tax cuts MORE (Ill.).

One Democrat, Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.), voted against the amendment.

In another amendment vote of note, lawmakers approved in a 237-191 vote an amendment from Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuTed Lieu congratulates first Asian American cast member on 'Saturday Night Live' Ocasio-Cortez renews impeachment call amid probe involving Trump's Scotland property Oversight panel investigating Air Force crew's stop at Trump property in Scotland MORE (D-Calif.) to block funding for Trump's arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, lawmakers rejected 192-236 an amendment from Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense: Trump says he has 'many options' on Iran | Hostage negotiator chosen for national security adviser | Senate Dems block funding bill | Documents show Pentagon spent at least 4K at Trump's Scotland resort Liz Cheney calls for 'proportional military response' against Iran Liz Cheney says world is more stable, 'safer' under Trump MORE (R-Wyo.) to restore $19.6 million for new low-yield sub-launched nuclear warheads.

An amendment from Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John Gallagher2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft Bipartisan panel to issue recommendations for defending US against cyberattacks early next year Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border MORE (R-Wis.) to boost funding for research and development for a conventional missile system that falls in the range of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was also rejected, 203-225.

What's next: The House is now considering another minibus that's off interest to defense watchers for including military construction funding.

Congressional leaders from both parties and the White House also need to work out a larger budget deal for any spending bill to become law.

They met Wednesday in Pelosi's office to that end, but failed to reach an agreement.

In a joint statement, Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) seemed to put the blame on the administration.

"If the House and Senate could work their will without interference from the President, we could come to a good agreement much more quickly," the two leaders said after the meeting.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinLawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Graham clash over Iran policy Liz Cheney calls for 'proportional military response' against Iran MORE, who attended Wednesday's meeting, laid out the GOP's Plan B if no deal is reached. That plan would freeze current spending levels and prevent deep spending cuts from going into effect if no agreement is reached before the end of September.

 

SAUDI VOTES SET FOR THURSDAY: The Senate will vote Thursday to block President Trump's controversial arms sales to Saudi Arabia, paving the way for a showdown with the White House.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet MORE (R-Ky.) said that the Senate would vote Thursday on resolutions to block Trump's deal, which consists of 22 sales that would also send weapons to the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

There will be two standalone votes on resolutions to block sales to Saudi Arabia. Senators will then have a third vote that would condense the remaining 20 resolutions of disapproval into one vote.

The resolutions blocking Trump's arms sale are expected to be able to pass the Senate, where they only need a simple majority. At least four Republicans are expected to vote with all 47 Democrats to block the arms deal.

House Democrats have also pledged to block the sales, setting the stage for a massive veto showdown with Trump. Neither chamber is expected to have the votes to override the vetoes.

 

NDAA WATCH: The defense policy bill is also chugging along. The Senate on Wednesday took the first procedural vote on its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The Senate approved the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed in an 88-11 vote. Sens. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Trump tweets he's revoking California's tailpipe waiver | Move comes as Trump visits state | California prepares for court fight | Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges lawmakers to listen to scientists Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity Senators call for more automakers to join emissions deal with California MORE (D-Del.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDefense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Democrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR MORE (D-N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Defense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE (D-Minn.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDefense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Kennedy to challenge Markey in Senate primary Overnight Energy: Trump tweets he's revoking California's tailpipe waiver | Move comes as Trump visits state | California prepares for court fight | Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges lawmakers to listen to scientists MORE (D-Mass.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDefense bill talks set to start amid wall fight DHS officials called lawmaker visit to migrant detention facility a 'Hill stunt' Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare MORE (D-Ore.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Energy: Trump to revoke California's tailpipe waiver | Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback | Trump officials finalize rule allowing fewer inspectors at pork plants Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback MORE (D-N.M.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Defense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument MORE (D-Mass.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump eyes narrowly focused response to Iran attacks Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Senate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court MORE (D-R.I.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDefense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Lobbying groups ask Congress for help on Trump tariffs MORE (D-Ore.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (I-Vt.) voted against the motion.

 

UN NOMINEE DEFENDS CLIMATE RECORD: Trump's pick to be U.S. ambassador to the U.N. appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.

The big headline came from her comments on climate change.

Kelly Craft said humans have "contributed" to climate change and vowed to press for global action if she's confirmed -- but stressed that she doesn't think the United States should take on an "outsized burden" in tackling the issue.

Craft, the wife of a coal executive, also pledged to recuse herself from matters involving coal.

"Climate change needs to be addressed, as it poses real risks to our planet. Human behavior has contributed to the changing climate," Craft said. "Let there be no doubt: I will take this matter seriously, and if confirmed, I will be an advocate for all countries to do their part in addressing climate change.

"This does not mean, in my view, that the United States should imperil American jobs -- or our economy as a whole -- by assuming an outsized burden on behalf of the rest of the world," she continued. "However, it does mean that we should promote the creativity and innovation that have made the United States a leader in tackling the challenges of our environment -- all while safeguarding our nation's economic well-being."

Craft's comments on climate change sought to manage fallout from a 2017 interview where she said "there are scientists on both sides that are accurate" about whether climate change exists, despite the scientific consensus that it does.

Questions on experience: Before becoming the ambassador to Canada, Craft was best known as a top Republican donor active in Kentucky politics and as the wife of a coal executive with ties to the Trump administration.

As such, Craft's level of experience was a top concern from Democrats on Wednesday as they questioned whether she will be able to represent the United States at the U.N. at a time of international turmoil, including amid heightened tensions with Iran and North Korea.

"I have deep reservations about your lack of qualifications for such a complex and challenging role," the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezAs NFIP reauthorization deadline looms, Congress must end lethal subsidies Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don't invite Putin to G-7 Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D-N.J.) told Craft. "Historically, U.S. ambassadors to the U.N. have brought significant executive experience, or experience working directly in foreign policy."

 

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for several ambassador nominees at 9:45 a.m. at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 419. https://bit.ly/31HJlX7

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will mark up several bill at 10 a.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2172. https://bit.ly/2Rltf0q

The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the Pentagon's deployments to the southern border at 10 a.m. at the Cannon House Office Building, room 310. https://bit.ly/2WQm1mn

A House Foreign Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on the State Department budget at 3 p.m. at Rayburn 2172. https://bit.ly/2RnC1Ly

 

ICYMI

-- The Hill: Trump envoy to North Korea: 'Door is wide open' for talks

-- The Hill: Navy explosives expert: Mines used in tanker attack have 'striking resemblance' to Iranian weapons

-- The Hill: Opinion: Is America headed toward war?

-- Bloomberg: Trump weighs new sanctions on Turkey over Russian missiles

-- Associated Press: 'Joints will be separated': Jamal Khashoggi's murder, retold