Donald Trump signed a record-breaking defense budget law in Washington.
US President Donald Trump signed into law the Standard Defense Budget Act Friday night that provides, among other things, a financial framework for creating a space force and sanctioning those involved in the construction of two new gas pipelines to Europe, North Stream 2 and Turk Stream.
The president signed the $738 billion defense budget bill during a short ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington. Also in attendance were Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Donald Trump’s family. The president traveled from the air base to Villa Mar-a-Lago on his Florida estate, where he is vacationing with his family.
Trump said this is the largest investment ever in developing the US military. He also highlighted the importance of creating Lee’s newest force, the Space Force, while also announcing the appointment of General John Raymond to lead the Space Force. The president emphasized that the last new force was formed in the United States 70 years ago when President Harry Truman revived the Air Force.
After months of deliberation, both the Democratic-majority House of Representatives and the Republican-majority Senate voted overwhelmingly, as has been historically reported in the American press. In addition to the creation of the Space Force, this is mainly because the law provides for three months of paid maternity leave for employees of federal institutions, an increase in soldiers’ salaries, or budget support to expand their housing options.
The law states, among other things, that it penalizes those involved in the Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines, including shipping companies and companies involved in pipeline laying and construction. By law, otherwise, the US president can lift these sanctions if he can demonstrate to Congress that the US has been able to reduce the likelihood that the Kremlin will use the pipelines for its own political purposes.
On Friday, the US press reported that a Swiss-Dutch company called Allseas announced that it would suspend work on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in light of the entry into force of a US law imposing sanctions. This gas pipeline transports gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, and Allseas is a subcontractor for the pipeline laying works.