Lawmakers have reached an agreement to strip a provision from the must-pass defense policy bill that would have sunk President Trump’s deal to save Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE.
A congressional source confirmed to The Hill on Friday that the Senate’s tougher language, which would have kept stiff penalties in place including blocking ZTE from buying American components, was booted from the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which has not been released.
Instead, the final NDAA is expected to line up with language included in the House’s defense bill, which blocks government agencies from using ZTE or Huawei technology, according to the source.
Bloomberg first reported that Congress would not use the defense bill to block Trump’s agreement with ZTE. A House Armed Services Committee spokesman declined to comment, citing ongoing negotiations. A spokeswoman for the Senate Armed Services Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Senators who lobbied hard for using the NDAA to block the agreement immediately blasted the decision from members of a congressional conference committee to strip the provision.
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