Republican U.S. senators called on Tuesday for a Senate vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, saying the nearly $780 billion national security policy bill was delayed by Democrats’ focus on issues like social programs and climate change.
The NDAA is closely watched by a broad swath of industry and other interests, as it determines everything from how many ships are bought to soldiers’ pay to how to address geopolitical threats.
Lawmakers take pride in the legislation having become law every year since 1961, saying it reflects their support for the military. Because it is one of the only major bills to become law annually, they also use it as a vehicle for legislation on issues from competition with China to cyber policy.
“We are in the most dangerous position we have ever been in terms of what China is doing,” Senator Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told a news conference blasting Senate Democratic leaders for failing to schedule a vote.