The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is estimated to cost $858 billion, was approved by the Senate by a vote of 83-11 on Thursday night. The House of Representatives has already given its approval to the budget plan, and it is now on its way to the desk of President Biden to be signed.
The total of $858 billion is $45 billion more than Vice President Biden requested, and it is an increase of 8% over the amount appropriated for the NDAA in 2022. It is the second year in a row that Congress has added tens of billions of dollars to the initial request made by the president. This is due to the fact that substantial spending on the military is supported by members of both parties.
The Department of Defense will get $817 billion out of the total amount of $858 billion, while the remaining money will go for military expenditures for other departments, including $30 billion for the nuclear weapons program housed inside the Department of Energy.
Because it contains modifications that would allow the United States to deliver additional armaments to Ukraine and Taiwan, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will increase tensions with both Russia and China. One proposal would provide the Department of Defense with the ability to make purchases during times of conflict by enabling it to enter into non-competitive, multi-year contracts for specific types of armaments. This power might be put to use to restock US stockpiles, equip Ukraine, and offer assistance to other countries governments that have shown support for Ukraine.
The Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which is a program that enables the United States government to buy arms for Kyiv, will allocate $800 million of its funding from the NDAA to the Ukrainian government. The great bulk of assistance provided to Ukraine will still be allowed as emergency funding, and the White House is presently trying to get an extra $37.7 billion. This sum is anticipated to be included in the omnibus spending measure that Congress wants to complete before the end of the year.
In terms of arming Taiwan, the budget plan would provide Taiwan with the yearly military assistance of $3 billion, and it also contains additional provisions to boost informal diplomatic relations with Taipei. Other noteworthy revisions include a new investment of $11.5 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which is a program to build up in the Asia Pacific region in order to challenge China. Additionally, the bill would roll back the Covid-19 vaccination requirement that the Pentagon has in place.
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