Well, it’s done. The $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act bill was signed into law Tuesday with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis in attendance. The bill is the largest pay increase for military members in eight years (via Washington Examiner):
.@realDonaldTrump just signed the NDAA into law giving our troops their largest pay raise in 8 years.— GOP (@GOP) December 12, 2017
"This historic legislation demonstrates our unwavering commitment to our men and women in uniform – the greatest fighting force in the history of the world," Trump said at the signing ceremony. "This legislation represents a momentous step in rebuilding our military and securing our future for our children."
While the act sets official policy, actual funding comes from appropriations, which Congress is still wrestling with as it faces a Dec. 22 deadline to come up with a budget deal that raises spending caps. The cap for baseline defense funding is $549 billion, well short of the $635 level set by the authorization act. The remaining $65 billion would be spent on overseas contingency operations, which is not subject to the caps.
"Now Congress must finish the job by eliminating the defense sequester and passing a clean appropriations bill," he said. "I think it's gonna happen. We need our military, it's gotta be perfecto."
Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017
It was supposed to be a simple event, but CNN’s Jim Acosta decided to ask the president about what he meant about Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) doing "anything" for campaign contributions.
"Mr. President, what did you mean when you said that Kirsten Gillibrand would do anything for a campaign contribution?" he asked.
Some Democrats took issue with this, but totally missed the mark, accusing Trump of slut-shaming Gillibrand. Yeah, you can thank Sen. Elizabeth Warren for that misfire; she just called her Senate colleague a slut. Of course, that’s not what she meant, but it’s good to know what words mean in this instance. Acosta said that he could be banned from future White House photo ops if he tried to ask a question today, but defied the orders of Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, saying he would not be intimidated. Grow up, bro. This isn’t a profile in courage. Then again, this is par for the course for him. So, is Acosta on the banned list? Well, we’ll find out at the next White House press pool event, which could be the signing of the tax reform package. Our friends at Twitchy caught the drama.
Heading for the door, Pres Trump waved off a question about his tweet saying @SenGillibrand "would do anything" for a campaign contribution. @Acosta said he had been told by @PressSec he might never again be allowed in a press pool event if he asked a question - he did anyway. pic.twitter.com/XmG1XjYl1j— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) December 12, 2017
President Trump ignores question from @Acosta on what the president meant when he tweeted that Sen. Gillibrand would do anything for a campaign contribution.— Allie Malloy (@AlliemalCNN) December 12, 2017
Prior to this morment, @presssec issued a warning to me. She said if I asked a question of Trump at the bill signing "I can't promise you will be allowed into a pool spray again." Sorry Sarah.. we won't be intimidated. https://t.co/RZgJpXpyEg— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) December 12, 2017
Also, some context about that "do anything" part in Trump's tweet. He's used that line against everyone:
Reporters who follow me, I beg you to examine your assumptions about Trump's attack on Gillibrand. Maybe it was sexual, but that's an inference. Per @bethanyshondark, this is a stock phrase he's used with men. pic.twitter.com/PDnOj84ZDT— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) December 12, 2017