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House to Start Fiscal 2019 Defense Bill Negotiations With Senate

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The House of Representatives has unanimously agreed to move its version of the 2019 defense bill to conference along with the Senate’s version, with negotiations expected to end in July, The Hill reported Wednesday.

Lawmakers will tackle new provisions in the proposed 2019 National Defense Authorization Act from both chambers, such as the Senate’s proposal to retain the penalties imposed on ZTE for violating sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

The Commerce Department agreed to lift the penalties once the Chinese firm agrees to pay a $1 billion fine and incorporate a U.S.-selected compliance group.

Among other things, House and Senate legislators will also discuss a plan to increase the U.S. military force size, with the lower chamber proposing to add 15,600 warfighters and the upper chamber just 8,600 soldiers.

The House has selected 31 members from the House Armed Services Committee to review the two versions of the 2019 NDAA.

Rep. Mac Thornbery (R-TX), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) are some of the lawmakers who will serve in the House-Senate Conference Committee.

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