U.S. House panel backs defense bill, Confederate battle looms

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House of Representatives committee unanimously backed a $741 billion defense bill late on Wednesday, setting the stage for a battle with President Donald Trump over naming military bases for Confederate generals and moving troops from Germany.

The House Armed Services Committee approved its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, by 56-0 shortly before midnight.

The bill sets policy for the Department of Defense on everything from how many ships are built to benefits for troops to how the country should counter threats from Russia and China.

Because it is one of the few bills Congress passes every year, lawmakers use the NDAA as a vehicle for a wide range of policy provisions.

The House version of the 2021 NDAA includes an amendment to remove the names of Confederate generals, who fought U.S. forces during the Civil War, from military bases within a year.

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