Thursday, December 3, 2020

Is Trump ‘foolish enough’ to veto the defense bill?


FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed today and when signed into law by the President, will add three Agent Orange-related diseases--bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism to the Department of Veterans Affairs list of conditions linked to herbicide exposure in Vietnam and elsewhere.

WASHINGTON ― House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith said he believes it’s still possible President Donald Trump would veto the annual defense policy bill but warned it “would be a huge political mistake.”

The House and Senate versions (which were reconciled Wednesday after months of negotiations) initially passed by veto-proof majorities, and Smith predicted that Republicans would vote to override in the event of a veto. Beyond the bill’s role in setting military personnel and acquisition policy, and securing a pay raise for troops, Smith touted its inclusion of new benefits for veterans exposed to Agent Orange.


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