The signing of the National Defense Authorization Act also avoided a government shutdown that would have started at midnight.
Last December, a record 35-day partial government shutdown ensued over a stalemate on border wall funding when Trump asked Congress for $6 billion. This year, Trump appeared focused on preparing for the potential of a new front in defense.
“Space is the world’s new war-fighting domain,” Trump said Friday during the signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews. “Among grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, and very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.”
President Donald Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday said, “Our reliance on space-based capabilities has grown dramatically, and today outer space has evolved into a warfighting domain of its own.”
The spending bill also includes funding for the border wall, election security grants and pay raises for military and civilian federal workers.
Trump signed the bill that funds the government through September while flying to Mar-a-Lago on Air Force One for the Christmas holiday.