$738 Billion Defense Bill Authorizes Space Force and New Benefits for Federal Workers


It looks like Space Force has earned its wings.

The leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees announced late Monday an agreement on the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision that would establish a new, independent Space Force within the Air Force. The conference report also sets a topline spending level of $738 billion for defense spending in 2020, and includes a provision providing a new benefit to federal employees.

Negotiations on the NDAA were particularly difficult this year, because the two chambers of Congress are controlled by different parties. "This conference report is the product of months of hard-fought, but always civil and ultimately productive, negotiations," the House Armed Services Committee said in a statement. "We look forward to ushering the conference report through the House and Senate as soon as possible and on to the President's desk for his signature."

The House is expected to vote on the bill as soon as Wednesday, and the Senate soon thereafter.

Here are some of the key features in the agreement:

The bill is notable for what it leaves out, as well. Democrats wanted to include limits on President Trump's ability to transfer funds to build the border wall with Mexico and protections for transgender troops, but those provisions were left out of the final agreement.

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