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Defense spending bill passes Senate

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 12/11/20, 04:22 pm

The National Defense Authorization Act heads to President Donald Trump’s desk under the looming threat of a veto. Like the House, the Senate approved the measure with a wide enough margin to override a veto—84-13. Congress has reupped the bill for the last almost 60 years to fund a wide range of defense-related policies.

Why would Trump veto it? The president demanded the bill include language to remove Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields social media platforms from liability for users’ posts. Trump also objects to a part of the bill that calls for the Pentagon to rename bases named for Confederate leaders. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged the chamber to approve the $731 billion defense bill anyway. Separately, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., filibustered the measure over concerns it would limit the president’s ability to pull troops from Afghanistan and Germany.

What else does the bill do? It includes a provision that will outlaw anonymous shell companies, used by criminal organizations and foreign actors to move money around in the United States. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, along with national security, law enforcement, and pro-business organizations, supported the provision. The United States appears to have more anonymous shell companies than any country in the world.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Marvin Olasky and J.C. Derrick’s report on how anonymous shell companies enable corruption.

Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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