Record $858 billion in annual US defense authorization

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Record $858 billion in annual US defense authorization

Robert Besser
19 Dec 2022, 23:14 GMT+10

  • The US Senate has approved a record $858 billion in annual defense spending, which is $45 billion more than proposed by President Joe Biden
  • The bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, also ends the US military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate
  • Supported by Senators, the Defense Authorization Act, an annual must-pass bill setting policy for the Pentagon, was approved with an overwhelming 83-11 bipartisan majority

WASHINGTON D.C.: The US Senate has approved a record $858 billion in annual defense spending, which is $45 billion more than proposed by President Joe Biden.

The bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, also ends the US military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Supported by Senators, the Defense Authorization Act, an annual must-pass bill setting policy for the Pentagon, was approved with an overwhelming 83-11 bipartisan majority.

However, a mix of liberals who object to the ever-rising military budget, and fiscal conservatives who want tighter controls on spending, voted against it.

The Defense Authorization Act will now be sent to the White House for signing into law by Biden.

The fiscal 2023 Defense Authorization Act includes a 4.6 percent pay increase for military staff, funding for new weapons, ships and aircraft, and support for both Taiwan and Ukraine.

Congress has passed the Defense Authorization Act every year since 1961.

Lawmakers use the Defense Authorization Act as a vehicle for a range of initiatives, as it is one of the few major bills that always passes.

This year, the bill includes a State Department authorization, along with legislation that would allow US Supreme Court justices and federal judges to shield their personal information from being viewed online, as well as a provision demanded by many Republicans, but opposed by many Democrats, that would require the secretary of defense to rescind a mandate requiring armed forces members be vaccinated against COVID-19.

It will also provide Ukraine with some $800 million in additional security assistance next year and includes a range of provisions to support Taiwan, including billions of dollars in security assistance and fast-tracked weapons procurement.

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