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 opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE's policies that Democrats find odious, underscoring Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump tweets on Yovanovitch show his 'insecurity as an imposter' On The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Overnight Defense: Ex-Ukraine ambassador offers dramatic day of testimony | Talks of 'crisis' at State Department | Trump tweets criticism of envoy during hearing | Dems warn against 'witness intimidation' | Trump defends his 'freedom of speech' 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-CortezJane Fonda leads DC climate protest for sixth straight Friday Ocasio-Cortez: 'Trump himself is clearly not satisfied with only one article of impeachment' The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Krystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Omar renews claim Stephen Miller is a 'white nationalist' amid calls for him to step down MORE (Minn.), Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonHow centrist Dems learned to stop worrying and love impeachment GOP lawmaker says House impeachment rules vote 'doesn't change anything for me' Majority of Americans see impeachment inquiry as fair: poll MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOcasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Justice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibEthics panel extends probe into Tlaib, says she likely misused campaign funds Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Krystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy 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 allies assail impeachment on process while House Democrats promise open hearings soon Hoyer: We are going to move as fast 'as the facts and truth dictate' on open hearings Conway spars with Wallace on whether White House will cooperate with impeachment inquiry after formal vote MORE (Mich.), Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartBipartisan group reveals agricultural worker immigration bill GOP lawmakers offer new election security measure Trump calls on Supreme Court to strike down DACA, says deal possible MORE (Fla.), Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerGeorge Papadopoulos launches campaign to run for Katie Hill's congressional seat Shimkus says he's been asked to reconsider retirement Walden retirement adds to GOP election woes MORE (Minn.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure GOP lawmakers express concerns about Giuliani's work in Ukraine MORE (Pa.), Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezHillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Bipartisan bill to secure election tech advances to House floor Our commitment to veterans can help us lead for all Americans 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 HurdThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats open televised impeachment hearings Here are the key players to watch at impeachment hearing Hillicon Valley: Schumer questions Army over use of TikTok | Federal court rules against random searches of travelers' phones | Groups push for election security funds in stopgap bill | Facebook's new payment feature | Disney+ launch hit by glitches MORE (Texas), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoProgressive group unveils first slate of 2020 congressional endorsements Democratic lawmakers call on Judiciary Committee to advance 'revenge porn' law Katie Hill resignation reignites push for federal 'revenge porn' law MORE (N.Y.) and Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedHillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg would support delaying Libra | More attorneys general join Facebook probe | Defense chief recuses from 'war cloud' contract | Senate GOP blocks two election security bills | FTC brings case against 'stalking' app developer 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. LieuWyden urges FCC to secure 5G networks against cyber threats Democrat hits White House spokeswoman after Trump appointee changes testimony PETA asks DOJ to stop conducting training that harms animals 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 CheneyLawmakers call for extra security for anti-Erdoğan protesters  Live updates on impeachment: Schiff fires warning at GOP over whistleblower Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite MORE (R-Wyo.) to restore $19.6 million for new low-yield sub-launched nuclear warheads.

An amendment from Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherProgressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising Hillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers offer election security measure | FTC Dem worries government is 'captured' by Big Tech | Lawmakers condemn Apple over Hong Kong censorship Lawmakers condemn Apple, Activision Blizzard over censorship of Hong Kong protesters 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 SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action 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 MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings Lawmakers aim for agreement on top-line spending by next week 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 McConnellOn The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Warren promises gradual move toward 'Medicare for All' in first 100 days 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: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Democrats give Warren's 'Medicare for All' plan the cold shoulder Liz Cheney applauds Trump for pulling out of Paris climate agreement MORE (D-Del.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandMaloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump Senate confirms controversial circuit court nominee She Should Run launches initiative to expand number of women in political process MORE (D-N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump to hold campaign rally in Florida later this month Overnight Health Care: Warren promises gradual move to 'Medicare for All' | Rivals dismiss Warren plan for first 100 days | White House unveils rules on disclosing hospital prices | Planned Parenthood wins case against anti-abortion group Harris introduces bill to prevent California wildfires MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharElection 2020: Why I'm watching Amy and Andy 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Hillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day MORE (D-Minn.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyHillicon Valley: Twitter shares more details on political ad rules | Supreme Court takes up Google-Oracle fight | Pentagon chief defends Microsoft cloud contract House, Senate announce agreement on anti-robocall bill Democratic senators introduce bill to block funding for border wall live stream MORE (D-Mass.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: Perry replacement faces Ukraine questions at hearing | Dem chair demands answers over land agency's relocation | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders unveil 0B Green New Deal public housing plan Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders unveil 0B Green New Deal public housing plan Senate committee advances budget reform plan MORE (D-Ore.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallBureau of Land Management staff face relocation or resignation as agency moves west Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows Hillicon Valley: Twitter to refuse all political ads | Trump camp blasts 'very dumb' decision | Ocasio-Cortez hails move | Zuckerberg doubles down on Facebook's ad policies | GOP senator blocks sweeping election reform bill MORE (D-N.M.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states Obama cautions 2020 hopefuls against going too far left What are Democrats going to do once Donald Trump leaves office? MORE (D-Mass.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocratic senators seek documents on Trump's alleged call for Barr press conference Senate committee advances budget reform plan Bipartisan Enzi-Whitehouse budget bill a very bad fix for deficits MORE (D-R.I.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocratic senators introduce bill to block funding for border wall live stream Booker, Sanders propose new federal agency to control drug prices Hillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant MORE (D-Ore.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersBloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states Obama cautions 2020 hopefuls against going too far left What are Democrats going to do once Donald Trump leaves office? 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) MenendezGraham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdoğan meeting Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward 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