Sleepy Senate starts debate on annual defense bill

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hile the upper chamber recessed for October to allow members to campaign ahead of the November elections, a small group of senators is slated to be in Washington to debate their must-pass annual defense funding authorization bill on Tuesday.

The move comes in the wake of the Senate punting a vote on the National Defense Authorization Act to November despite previous plans to bring members back into session to vote on the bill mid-month.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stressed the importance of Congress acting on the measure, arguing it is needed to build upon recent administrative actions taken to limit China’s access to U.S. technology.

The procedural move will allow the upper chamber to move swiftly to full debate and pass the legislation upon the senators’ return to Washington.

Senate Armed Services Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) and ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) are slated to participate in the debate on Tuesday.

“In the upcoming NDAA, the Senate will work in several ways to further strengthen America’s position against China’s exploitative economic and industrial policies that aim to undermine American microchip manufacturing and other innovations, endangering our economic and national security,” Schumer said in a statement.

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