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Rep. Jim Banks...

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WASHINGTON — More than two-thirds of the U.S. House of Representatives gave the nod to a defense policy bill on Thursday, boasting $886 billion in annual military spending.


The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) sailed through with a 310-118 vote, securing bipartisan support and surpassing the two-thirds majority needed for passage. This green light propels the bill to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature.


Congressman Jim Baird opposed the bill, citing its diluted nature and the inclusion of a provision permitting the United States to surveil its citizens.


“Nobody in Congress is a bigger supporter of the military than I am,” said Rep. Baird. “I was proud to support the House version of the NDAA in July. Unfortunately, this legislation has been watered down to include provisions that allow the Federal government to violate our right to privacy and spy on American citizens. Moreover, I’m disappointed that this legislation failed to include important provisions that prevent our tax dollars from funding abortions and gender reassignment surgeries. It is unacceptable that the House passed an NDAA that fails to uphold our promises to our military personnel and the American people.”



Congressman Jim Banks cast his vote in favor of the bill, highlighting several favorable elements. Among them is a notable four-month extension granted to the FISA provision, a topic of extensive debate regarding the surveillance of American citizens.


“The current FISA authorization has been the law for five years, and five years ago, President Trump signed this current version of FISA into law,” he told Tony Katz and the Morning News. “We are extending [the provision] for four months. FISA has been abused, and it needs to be reformed; I fully support reforming it but if you allow it to lapse, then you stop the authorities that we have that allow us to track terrorists that are coming over our Southern Border or terrorists abroad who are planning attacks on the United States of America.


Congress passed the 63rd National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) endorsing a record-breaking $886 billion. The bill avoided contentious social issues present in the initially passed House version.

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