Overnight Defense: House approves $733 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran

Overnight Defense: House approves $733 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran

THE TOPLINE: After a week of questions, House Democrats were able to come together and pass the annual defense policy bill Friday.

In a 220-197 vote, the House approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), avoiding a potential major embarrassment for Democrats as they kept most of the caucus in line to pass the bill without Republican support.

Friday's passage comes after Democratic leaders' ability to hold the line was called into question earlier in the week.

But in the end, just eight Democrats voted against the bill on final passage.

The breakdown: No Republicans voted in support of the bill.

From the Democrats, the votes against came from Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezGeorge Conway calls Trump a 'racist president' in new op-ed House Democrats introduce resolution condemning Trump for 'racist' comments Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer MORE (N.Y.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran House approves defense bill after adding liberal sweeteners Overnight Energy: Critics worry Trump ignoring plight of honeybees | EPA employee protests union contract while receiving award from Wheeler | Green groups team up to host presidential climate summit MORE (Ore.), Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran House approves defense bill after adding liberal sweeteners Lawmakers congratulate US women's soccer team on winning opening World Cup match MORE (N.Y.), Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeCongress, stop ducking war-declaration authority on Iran Trump's tweets unify a fractured Democratic Party Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran MORE (Calif.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarScaramucci calls Trump tweets 'racist and unacceptable' House Democrat pushes for censuring Trump in closed-door meeting Black Caucus leader calls Trump's attacks on minority lawmakers 'despicable' MORE (Minn.), Mark PocanMark William PocanOn the USMCA, Pelosi can't take yes for an answer Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran House approves defense bill after adding liberal sweeteners MORE (Wis.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyKellyanne Conway: 'I totally disagree' with husband's op-ed calling Trump racist Scaramucci calls Trump tweets 'racist and unacceptable' House Democrat pushes for censuring Trump in closed-door meeting MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibScaramucci calls Trump tweets 'racist and unacceptable' House Democrat pushes for censuring Trump in closed-door meeting Black Caucus leader calls Trump's attacks on minority lawmakers 'despicable' MORE (Mich.).

Deciding factors: Despite concerns about the price tag, progressives said they could support the NDAA if their other amendments passed. They were particularly concerned about amendments related to President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE's war powers.

Earlier Friday, the House passed an amendment to prevent President Trump from launching a military strike on Iran without prior congressional approval.

Democrats also approved amendments to block emergency arms sales to Saudi Arabia, end U.S. military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force that authorized the Iraq War, among others.

"I held my nose and voted yes," Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalHouse Democrats seek to move past rifts with minimum wage bill Problem Solvers Caucus co-chair calls Trump comments about progressive congresswomen 'totally unacceptable' Trump's tweets unify a fractured Democratic Party MORE (D-Wash.) said after the vote.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithOvernight Defense: Esper officially nominated for Defense secretary | Pentagon silent on Turkey getting Russian missile system | House, Senate headed for clash over defense bill House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran MORE (D-Wash.) "worked very hard to incorporate some progressive priorities," she added. "And then I'm working with Chairman Smith on establishing different ways that we can actually start to make the case for lowering military defense spending."

On Iran: As noted above, the House approved the amendment intended to block Trump from taking military action against Iran.

The amendment, approved 251-170, would prohibit funding U.S. military action against Iran unless Congress has declared war or enacted another specific statutory authorization.

Twenty-seven Republicans sided with Democrats to support the amendment, while seven Democrats voted against it.

Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaCongress, stop ducking war-declaration authority on Iran The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur: Here's how to choose a president House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill MORE (D-Calif.), the amendment's chief sponsor, touted the measure as sending a strong signal to Trump.

"It reminds the president that the American people, both Democrats and Republicans, don't want another war in the Middle East," Khanna told reporters "The president was fully aware of this. This is what he said when he campaigned, and he's probably going to want to say it again when he campaigns again. So I think it's a reminder to him of where public sentiment is and that he shouldn't get too influenced by the Washington establishment."

What's next: The House will now have to reconcile its version of the bill with the Senate's. The Senate passed its version 86-8 last month without any of the progressive amendments that made it into the House version, potentially complicating negotiations on the final bill.

 

SENATORS WANT SANCTIONS AFTER TURKEY TAKES DELIVERY OF RUSSIAN MISSILE SYSTEM: Top senators on Friday called on President Trump to impose sanctions on Turkey after the NATO ally accepted delivery of a Russian air defense missile system, a purchase U.S. officials fear could be used to gather intelligence on the American-made F-35.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan "has chosen a perilous partnership with [Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff Fox News's Shep Smith blasts Trump over 'xenophobic eruption' on minority lawmakers Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller MORE] at the expense of Turkey's security, economic prosperity and the integrity of the NATO alliance," Sens. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeThis week: House Democrats voting to hold Barr, Ross in contempt House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran MORE (R-Okla.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedPentagon chief nominee: 'We need to get back on the diplomatic channel' with Iran Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran Senators urge Trump to sanction Turkey for accepting Russian missile shipment MORE (D-R.I.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sens. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischThis week: House Democrats voting to hold Barr, Ross in contempt Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran MORE (R-Idaho) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Senate passes .5B border bill, setting up fight with House Senate to vote on blocking Trump's Saudi arms deal as soon as this week MORE (D-N.J.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.

The lawmakers urged Trump to impose congressional sanctions as part of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which penalizes U.S. partners that buy Russian military equipment.

"On a strong bipartisan basis, Congress has made it clear that there must be consequences for President Erdogan's misguided S-400 acquisition," they said, referring to the surface-to-air missile defense system from Russia.  

The lawmakers also called on the Defense Department to proceed with the termination of Turkey's participation in the F-35 program.

What happened: Ankara earlier on Friday took delivery of a shipment of the S-400 system.

Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Friday that the Pentagon was aware of the delivery and that he would speak to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar later in the day.

What the US has threatened: The Pentagon announced in early June that it would pull Turkey from participation in building and maintaining the F-35 Lightning II fighter, moving industrial operations to other countries, unless Ankara gives up its plans to purchase S-400.

Turkey, one of nine partner countries involved in the F-35, has plans to eventually buy at least 100 of the advanced fighter jets and was expected to play a significant role in sustaining the aircraft in later years.

In the past year, however, Ankara has refused to be swayed from its plan to buy the S-400, which is not compatible with NATO systems. U.S. officials fear it will allow Moscow to gather closely guarded information on the Lockheed Martin-made F-35.

The department has already pulled Turkish applicants from a training program that teaches pilots to fly the F-35, and it ordered that all Turkish personnel linked to the F-35 program leave the United States by July 31.

Former acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Five things to watch for at Defense nominee's confirmation hearing Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank MORE said in a letter to the Turkish defense minister that the penalties would take place by July 31.

The longshot: Administration officials hoped to convince Turkey to abandon the S-400 sale by instead offering Ankara the U.S.-developed Patriot air and missile defense system, made by Raytheon.

Turkey did not take the offer, however, as Washington will not relinquish the system's sensitive missile technology.

What the senators said Friday: "Unfortunately, President Erdogan rejected multiple attempts by the United States to preserve our strategic relationship while enabling Turkey to defend its airspace with F-35 aircraft and the Patriot air defense system," the senators wrote.

"Turkey is an important NATO ally ... But lasting improvement to our cooperation will not be possible as long as President Erdogan remains fixated on deepening ties with Vladimir Putin at the expense of the economic prosperity of Turkey and the security of the NATO alliance," they wrote.

In a separate statement, Sens. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran Senators urge Trump to sanction Turkey for accepting Russian missile shipment Acosta on shaky ground as GOP support wavers MORE (R-Okla.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenCrucial for Congress to fund life-saving diabetes research Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran Senators urge Trump to sanction Turkey for accepting Russian missile shipment MORE (D-N.H.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senator: 'Outrageous' to say Trump's tweets about Democratic congresswomen are racist Top North Carolina newspapers editorial board to GOP: 'Are you OK with a racist president?' Republicans make U-turn on health care MORE (R-N.C.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran Senators urge Trump to sanction Turkey for accepting Russian missile shipment Republicans say they're satisfied with 2020 election security after classified briefings MORE (D-Md.) said the S-400 was "created to target and destroy" the F-35, and that the United States "will not allow sensitive U.S. military technology in the F-35 to be at risk."

"Turkey cannot have both Russian and American defense equipment sitting side by side," the senators wrote. "As long as President Erdogan insists on putting U.S. and NATO assets at risk by acquiring Russian defense technology, the U.S. will withhold our fifth-generation fighter jets and apply our normal restrictions on any government that purchases Russian military equipment."

On the House side: Also delivering a strongly worded statement was Reps. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries Justice Democrats issues 3 new endorsements for progressive candidates MORE (D-N.Y.), and Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran House approves amendment seeking to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Trump officials defend use of facial recognition amid backlash MORE (R-Texas), the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"We have warned Turkey and President Erdogan time and time again that taking delivery of the Russian S-400 air and missile defense system would have serious consequences for the U.S.-Turkey relationship, including Turkey's participation in the F-35 program," the two wrote. 

"We have warned them that obtaining the S-400 system would trigger sanctions. We have backed the Administration's offer to sell the PATRIOT system to meet Turkey's air and missile defense needs. President Erdogan was given a very clear choice. Unfortunately, he has clearly made the wrong one."

They also called on the Pentagon and State Department to "terminate Turkey's participation in the F-35 program and to sanction Turkish individuals doing business with the Russian defense sector, as required by law."

 

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