Giant Pentagon policy bill kicks off closed-door debate

Defense News: U.S. House and Senate conferees on the massive 2019 defense authorization bill met Wednesday to launch closed-door negotiations between the chambers’ competing drafts.

Lawmakers are expected to wrangle over troop levels, how many F-35s to buy, a ban on the Chinese telecom giant ZTE, House-backed cuts to certain Pentagon support agencies, Senate-backed changes to the Defense Department’s hierarchy and restrictions on F-35 sales to Turkey, among myriad other issues.

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