Overnight Defense: Trump vetoes Iran war powers resolution | Pentagon awards $126M contract to 3M to boost mask production | Space Force chief advises Steve Carell to 'get a haircut'

Overnight Defense: Trump vetoes Iran war powers resolution | Pentagon awards $126M contract to 3M to boost mask production | Space Force chief advises Steve Carell to 'get a haircut'
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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: In a move that was widely expected but was delayed because of the ongoing pandemic, President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' MORE has vetoed a resolution aimed at constraining his ability to take military action against Iran.

In a statement Wednesday, Trump said he vetoed the Iran war powers resolution that “purported to direct me to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces in hostilities against Iran.”

“This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party,” Trump added. “The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands.”

“Congress should not have passed this resolution,” he concluded.

Congress is not expected to have the two-thirds majority needed to override Trump’s veto, but the Senate is slated to take an override vote Thursday afternoon.

Reminder: The House approved the resolution in a 227-186 vote in March as one of its last votes before leaving town amid the coronavirus pandemic. Six Republicans joined with Democrats in approving the measure.

That followed the Senate’s 55-45 approval in February, when eight Republicans voted with Democrats to support the resolution.

Congress took up the resolution — which directed the president to “terminate the use of United States Armed Forces for hostilities against” Iran unless Congress specifically authorizes it — after Washington and Tehran appeared to be on the brink of war earlier this year.

The delay: Despite Congress passing the resolution nearly two months ago, it was delayed in being officially sent to the White House as lawmakers stayed out of D.C. amid the coronavirus pandemic. The House officially enrolled the measure during a pro forma session in April, but the Senate did not enroll it until after the chamber fully returned to town this week.

Reaction: Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Health Care: Trump says US 'terminating' relationship with WHO | Cuomo: NYC on track to start reopening week of June 8 | COVID-19 workplace complaints surge 10 things to know today about coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Twitter says Trump violates rules with 'shooting' threat MORE (D-Va.), who sponsored the resolution, urged his colleagues to override the veto in a statement Wednesday.

“Last year, in President Trump’s State of the Union remarks, he said: ‘Great nations do not fight endless wars,’” Kaine said. “But instead of following through on his word, President Trump vetoed legislation that would help avoid unnecessary war in the Middle East. I urge my colleagues to join me in voting to override his veto. Unless there’s a carefully reached consensus in Congress that war is necessary, we should not be sending our troops into harm’s way.”

CORONAVIRUS LATEST: The Defense Department has given 3M a $126 million contract to boost production of N95 respirator masks in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

Under the contract, 3M will speed up the existing delivery schedule “and increase N95 respirator production by at least 312 million annually within the next twelve months,” Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said in a statement.

“This increased production/industrial capacity will continue to ensure a sustainable supply chain of N95 respirators and resupply the Strategic National Stockpile in response to the increased national demand caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.”

The deal — made in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services and funded through the CARES Act — will have 3M increase its mask production by 26 million per month starting in October. To do so, the company will expand its facility in Aberdeen, S.D., and also perform initial production in Wisconsin. 

Latest numbers: The number of U.S. troops who have gotten the coronavirus surpassed 5,000 on Wednesday.

Specifically, the Pentagon reported a total of 5,019 coronavirus cases in the military, including 105 who have been hospitalized and 1,887 who have recovered.

Adding in civilians, dependents and contractors, Wednesday’s report said there have been a total of 7,604 coronavirus cases related to the Pentagon.

No new deaths were reported Wednesday.

IN LIGHTER NEWS: The leaders of Space Force have some thoughts about the trailer for the upcoming Netflix comedy “Space Force.”

Specifically, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond thinks Steve Carell, who plays the Space Force chief in the series, needs a haircut.

“The one piece of advice I’d give to Steve Carell is to get a haircut. You’re looking a little too shaggy if you want to play the Space Force chief,” Raymond, who is bald, said Wednesday during a webinar hosted by the Space Foundation.

While Raymond said he was hoping the Space Force chief would be played by fellow bald man Bruce Willis, he added he thinks Carell is a “great actor, and I love his shows. So we’re looking forward” to watching.

The first trailer for the show, which debuts May 29, was released Tuesday.

In one scene, a stressed Carell, who plays fictional Space Force head Gen. Mark Naird, begins singing “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys when he is alone in his office.

Asked during Wednesday’s webinar if the real Space Force would adopt the show’s theme song as its own, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett joked that “we’re all into 'Kokomo.'”


The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Kenneth Braithwaite
to be secretary of the Navy, James Anderson, to be deputy under secretary of Defense for policy and Gen. Charles Brown, Jr., to ce chief of staff of the Air Force at 9:30 a.m. https://bit.ly/2yAolrp


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