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Trump Signs Fiscal 2019 Defense Authorization Act At Fort Drum Ceremony

16 August 2018

"And hopefully, we'll be so strong, we'll never have to use it, but if we ever did, nobody has a chance".

The feud between Trump and McCain has escalated, particularly after the senator became an outspoken critic for many of Trump's policies.

"We are proudly giving our troops the biggest pay increase in a decade", Trump said.

McCain's condition - dire enough that a recent HBO documentary on him was titled "John McCain: For whom the bell tolls" - has not stopped Trump from deriding the Arizona senator at political rallies.

Some lawmakers wanted to reinstate sanctions on ZTE for illegally shipping products to Iran and North Korea.

"I have to tell you about Elise", Trump said.

The measure authorizes a 2.6 percent pay raise for troops - the largest in almost a decade.

The bill also follows the administration's request for 77 F-35 fighter jets and goes beyond the its request for Navy ships, authorizing a total of 13 new vessels.

"This legislation reforms the Pentagon to make our military more agile, provides resources to ensure our armed forces have the tools needed for modern warfare, and extends funding for global counterterrorism efforts", said the Wisconsin Republican.

"Serving as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and working on behalf of America's courageous service members has been one of the greatest honors of my life", he said.

The act sets active duty end strength for the Army at 487,500 in fiscal 2019, which begins October 1, 2018.

The bill is aimed at rebuilding the USA military by authorizing a total of $717 billion for military funding over the next year. Anadolu news agency said Turkey has been in the F-35 development program since 1999, adding that the country's defense firms have been producing parts for some types of the jets.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in a letter to the Senate on July 7, had warned that Turkey's removal from the program could cause a disruption in a supply chain for the USA military and its partners while increasing other program costs. However Trump did not mention McCain's name during extended remarks at the signing, even omitting it when saying the name of the bill.

The administration is also angered by Turkey's detaining of a USA pastor on terrorism charges.

Trump Signs Fiscal 2019 Defense Authorization Act At Fort Drum Ceremony