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July 10-16

Annika Lilja

Jul 17, 2023

U.S. National Defense Bill, NATO Summit, Campaign Finance in the 2024 U.S. Presidential Election

Top US Story: On Friday, the U.S. House passed the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023." This bill is what authorizes the activities of the Department of Defense (DOD) for this fiscal year.

The bill passed by a narrow margin, 219 to 210 votes. Nearly every Republican in the House supported this bill, a feat for the party after struggling with electing Speaker McCarthy back in January. Once again, the far-right members of the House pushed Speaker McCarthy into a position where he needed their support for the passage of this bill. 

The result: Speaker McCarthy opened up the bill so that issues of social policy could be added to the bill, ultimately favoring the far right's social policy agenda, especially as it applies to diversity training in the military, and the Pentagon's policy on abortion access for those in the military. 

The bill also proposed a 5.2 percent raise to military personnel, as well as the establishment of a special inspector general that would oversee U.S. aid to Ukraine. 

The bill is unlikely to get passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate, and thus raises concerns that partisan gridlock will once again diminish the opportunity for compromise.

You can read the bill by following this link. 

Top Global Story: The NATO 2023 Summit in Lithuania began on Tuesday and concluded on Wednesday. The G7 leaders have all agreed for their respective nations to negotiate more long-term security-related commitments with Ukraine, an effort aimed at assisting Ukraine with building up the country's defense against Russian aggression. The agreement is an example of the middle ground between NATO joining a war against Russia, and staying completely neutral. 

Additionally, on Monday (the day before the Summit began) Turkey suddenly cleared the way for Sweden to join NATO. The country previously had blocked Sweden from entering the alliance, and the shift in position was rather out of the blue. At the end of the day, Sweden joining NATO will allow the alliance to expand its protection of the Baltic nations that remain vulnerable due to their proximity to Russia. 

Update on the 2024 U.S. Elections: As mentioned in ATP's wrap-up from last week, the Federal Election Commission's financial disclosures for campiagns were due on Saturday. Now that the public has access to this information, this wrap-up will briefly overview the financial state of the 2024 presidential campaigns. 

Former President, Donald Trump, leads the presidential race with the most cash on hand as of June 30th, with 22.5 million dollars. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) follows him with 21.1 million dollars. President Biden came in third with 20.1 million dollars. 

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) leads with the most amount of money raised from April 1-June 30, with 20.1 million dollars, showing how his campaign is picking up speed in terms of fundraising. President Biden follows him in this category with 19.9 million dollars. Former President Trump comes in third with 17.7 million dollars. 

There are many other measures of campaign finances that provide useful information. Check out this article from the New York Times for more information. Or you can visit the FEC site directly. 

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