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Senate Passes Defense Authorization Bill

Dec. 12, 2020 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Senate yesterday passed the fiscal 2021 defense authorization bill by a solid veto-proof vote of 84-13, brushing aside President Donald Trump’s veto threats as easily as the House did earlier in the week. Trump has insisted that they add a clause reversing the power of the big tech companies to censor anything they want to.

The vote came after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) briefly delayed the bill over language on Afghanistan which seeks to delay the drawdown of U.S. troops that President Donald Trump has ordered. Paul had wanted leadership to agree to delay the final vote until Dec. 14, an effort leadership said was really an attempt to delay the veto override vote. Paul said that “neoconservatives” such as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) “are inconsistent in saying they want ... to give the commander-in-chief powers to begin war, but then they want to restrain and hamstring a President from ending a war. I think it’s a pretty important principle to discuss so we did hold things up for a day.”

The Associated Press reported that Cheney co-sponsored an amendment to the bill that would block troop withdrawals in Afghanistan unless the Pentagon submits inter-agency reports certifying that the drawdowns would not jeopardize national security. “The philosophy of these people is about war and substantiating war and making sure that it becomes and is perpetual war,” Paul said, referring to Cheney and her father.

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