U.S. Senate approves annual defense policy bill

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WASHINGTON, July 23 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Senate approved on Thursday a defense policy bill for the upcoming fiscal year.

The chamber voted 86-14 on its version of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which outlines the country’s defense policy initiatives and would allocate more than 740 billion U.S. dollars for them.

It came two days after the House passed its version of the NDAA.

The bills, both passed with a veto-proof majority, respectively include languages that require the Pentagon to rename military properties named after figures who fought for pro-slavery Confederacy during the Civil War.

The White House has reiterated that it strongly objects to renaming U.S. bases.

It is “part of a sustained effort to erase from the history of the Nation those who do not meet an ever-shifting standard of conduct,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement earlier this week.

If the bill “were presented to the President in its current form, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto it,” the office noted.

The House and the Senate must reconcile their versions of the NDAA before sending it to the White House.

Some U.S. states and cities have removed statues of Confederate figures amid a national reckoning over police brutality, racism, and slavery, sparked by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, who died in May after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Enditem

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