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Senate OKs $716B Defense Policy Bill for Fiscal 2019

The Senate on Monday voted 85-10 to pass a bill that would authorize $716 billion in defense budget for fiscal 2019, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act seeks to allocate $639 billion in base budget and $69 billion in additional war spending.

The report said the measure would authorize the acquisition of materials to support the development of Virginia-class nuclear submarines, a provision that could bode well for shipbuilding firms Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics.

The Senate added an amendment to the defense policy bill that would preclude sales of Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jets to Turkey provided the Trump administration proves that the country does not buy defense systems from Russia, threaten NATO or detain U.S. citizens.

The Senate’s NDAA would expand the review authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. over land purchases and other transactions.

CNBC reported that the Senate’s version of the defense bill includes a provision that would reinstate a ban that prohibits Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE from purchasing components from U.S. companies for breaching a settlement over illegal shipments to North Korea and Iran.

The upper chamber’s measure needs to be reconciled through a conference committee with the House’s NDAA version that passed in May.

The report said the White House could advance efforts to overturn the ZTE ban as both chambers hash out differences between the two versions of the legislation.

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