US Senate passes 2023 $850bln defense bill
The bill involves the allocation of at least $800 million in additional aid to Kiev and $10 billion to Taiwan and contains clauses aimed at blocking the gold reserve of Russia.
A new version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) estimated to be worth $847.3 billion was passed on Friday by the US Senate- a staggering increase considering that last year that amount was $768 billion.
The voting turnout was 83-11 and received both bipartisan support and opposition. It will now proceed to US President Joe Biden's office to be signed into law.
The 2023 NDAA would authorize $847.3 billion in national defense spending, including $816.7 billion for the Defense Department and $30.3 billion for national security programs within the Energy Department, along with a range of defense and nondefense policy provisions.
The initiative also involves the allocation of at least $800 million in additional aid to Ukraine, $10 billion to Taiwan, and contains clauses aimed at blocking the gold reserve of Russia, as well as extending the ban on cooperation with Moscow in the military sphere for 5 years.
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It further provides a 4.6% pay raise to US military service members and Defense Department civilian employees in a bit to alleviate the cost of living crisis.
The Covid-19 vaccine mandate has likewise been rescinded from the NDAA, marking what Republican lawmakers call a "huge win" against Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
There have been discussions among Republicans about the need to pass a short-term, stopgap measure – also known as a “continuing resolution,” or CR – to allow the next Congress to draft a budget.
Read more: US pushing Kiev to escalate conflict with Russia: Ryabkov