Defense Bill Easily Passes In The House

Written By BlabberBuzz | Thursday, 09 December 2021 05:15
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The House of Representatives enacted the 2022 yearly defense spending bill Tuesday night, giving it to the Senate.

Legislators voted 363-70 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act hours after the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees declared they had struck a deal to move along the $768 billion measure. Fifty-one Democrats and 19 Republicans voted against it.

The 2022 NDAA approves $740 billion for the Department of Defense, a total of $25 billion more than President Joe Biden wished. Included in that amount is $7.1 billion to "support and attempt to improve the current posture, capabilities, and activities of U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific region," according to a summary of the final legislation.

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The bill includes provisions that address how sexual assault and harassment are handled in the military.

It removes the decision to prosecute crimes of sexual assault and related crimes from the military chain of command, but it would not remove all felonies from the chain of command.

The bill also establishes a multi-year Afghanistan War Commission to examine the 20-year conflict and the U.S. military withdrawal.

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It also authorizes a 2.7% pay raise for military service members, provides paid parental and bereavement leave and increases aid to Ukrainian security forces by $50 million.

The NDAA also grants $27.8 billion for nuclear weapons activities, money that will go to the Department of Energy.

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"I am grateful for the work by my colleagues in the House and the Senate to craft a bipartisan and bicameral NDAA that bolsters our national security and supports our troops. This bill will prepare our military to face the ever-growing threat of China by banning them from our American supply chain and modernizing our weapon systems," House Armed Services Committee ranking member Mike Rogers said in a statement.

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The measure will now progress to the Senate and, if it succeeds, will be sent to President Joe Biden's desk to sign.

This is the 5th time the NDAA has come up in its 6 decade-long history, according to a Senate aide. Republicans have grilled Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for not bringing the legislation up sooner and for not allowing for discussion on more bills.

On Nov. 19, the Senate was expected to negotiate and vote on 19 key amendments, but the process was dismissed by Republican senators who opposed it because their amendments were not being reflected. Senate Republicans then voted against ending debate on the bill last week to force the Democrats back to the negotiating table with regard to amendments.

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